The Number One Beer Blog in America

Yesterday morning, as I was making my first pass through the Twitterverse, I espied this missive from Brady "Running Man" Walen:

Good to see fellow beer bloggers @ @ & @ on 's Top Beer Blogs this month

Top beer blogs--what's this? Well, if you follow the bitly link (through Libya!), you arrive at a site called Wikio, which collects lists of the "top blogs" in various categories. Important stuff like "paper crafts," "plush art," "shoes," and of course, "beer." Now, if you think I'm trying to belittle the rankings, wait'll you get a load of what they have at the top of the list:

Really, me?--I'm just so shocked. First of all, I'd like to thank my wife and my mom and my bartender and...

Seriously, it's really cool, and I was really shocked. Who knew? Moreover, Oregon bloggers are really rockin' it: #5 Brewpublic, #9 The New School, #15 The Brew Site, and #24 It's Pub Night. Fully 20% of the top 25--not bad. Add a couple from Washington, and the NW was definitely pulling its weight. (In fact, it looks like half are from the West Coast.)

But let's add a few caveats. Wikio doesn't base it on traffic--a fact I figured instantly, knowing my own traffic. They say:
The Wikio rankings do not take into account either the Google PageRank or traffic of your blog. We use our own algorithm....

The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles.... [T]he weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.

With our algorithm, the weight of a link from a blog that is more highly ranked is greater than that of a link from a blog that is less well ranked.
In other words, Wikio tries to judge influence, not popularity--and the fact that all the Portland bloggers interlink means we inflate each other's numbers (just as I did in the earlier paragraph--welcome, guys!). So thanks to our inadvertent little cartel, we probably managed to goose our own numbers.

The final caveat, and it's really important: no one reads beer blogs. Okay, maybe we do better than bloggers of plush art, but compared to real traffic, we're just screwing around. Talking Points Memo, the 29th most influential political blog, is ranked as the 1004th most trafficked website in America. Beervana? 428,610. Gizmodo, first on the tech list, is the 149th most popular American website. This is not to denigrate the work of the great bloggers writing about beer--we do rock, and don't let no one tell you different. But there's just not the vast readership for craft beer-related content as there is within certain other categories of interest.
Jeff AlworthMeta11 Comments