Blog Rank
July 5, 2009 — 22:31

Author: Kevin Timpe  Category: General  Comments: 6

Hopefully some of the rest of you can tell me what, if any, significance these rankings have, but according to this site here, Prosblogian is one of the top philosophy blogs on a number of different metrics.  Does anyone have an informed view of this data?

(I’ll also note the Alex’s personal blog scores pretty high as well.)

[HT: Feminist Philosophers]

  • I suppose a part of the explanation is that philosophy of religion is one of the areas of philosophy with the greatest interest to layfolk.

    July 6, 2009 — 9:03
  • Alan Rhoda

    While Prosblogion definitely deserves a high rank, I’m skeptical of the overall accuracy of this list.
    My own blog, Alanyzer, seems to be too high in the overall rankings given that I haven’t done much blogging at all in the last half year.
    Also, there are some glaring omissions of philosophy blogs that ought to show up in any serious ranking. Two examples: Maverick Philosopher and Garden of Forking Paths.

    July 6, 2009 — 10:30
  • Matthew Mullins

    Like Alan I was initially skeptical of the accuracy of the list, but given the measurement tools that are being used I think there results are close to accurate. I think readers have to keep in mind that these aren’t rankings of the best or brightest philosophy blogs, but measurements of certain kinds of traffic and traffic drivers. In areas where I can compare Invesp’s results to Prosblogion’s site logs, they come fairly close.
    There are pretty straight forward reasons to explain how some sites fair on the report. For example, one good reason for Maverick Philosopher to not fair well along a number of these measurements is that Vallicella has moved his site four times. Any metric that’s based on linking is going to rate Vallicella’s site low. (This could hurt Certain Doubts and the Leiter Reports as well.)

    July 6, 2009 — 23:44
  • It depends on which tool of measurement is being used and how much weight is being placed on it as to how accurate these stats are.
    The site uses:
    RSS membership (which apparently none of the measured sites seem to have?!?) this is a rather arbitrary measure as some people like to physically visit a site to read it, others prefer a reader. It is worthwhile factoring it in alongside unique hits as if someone is using a reader they won’t be counted as a hit.
    Monthly visitors is kind of vague. What sort of visitor uniques, returning, etc? And which program is counting them is what I would want to know. The numbers listed against the blogs in that category seem very small. Nevertheless, number of visitors is a very important factor in determining rank.
    Number of pages, by contrast, seems very ridiculous to me. It effectively rewards prolific posting as opposed to content indicators that speak to people actually reading your pages.
    Google blog rank is pretty fair, google is fairly accurate.
    Incoming links can be a bit fickle, but the site appears to be using google and yahoo to determine this so this should be fairly accurate.
    Links to pages ratio is a bit bizarre. If it means the number of links the blogger places on their pages them it be rewarding prolificness again but if it means the number of incoming links then it is already covered by the other measures in the formula. It is not good practice to place a lot of links on pages as google et al then tend to treat your pages like spam and won’t count them which lowers your page rank.
    Pages per visit is a good indicator. It means that people are not just accidentally arriving on your site and heading off again, they are reading your site and a fair bit of it. Of course your regular readers are only going to read the new material each time they come in and blogs that contract their posts will rank higher on this factor than those that do not but it is still a worthwhile factor to consider.
    Google page rank is a good indicator but it does favour established blogs over new ones and ones where the blog owner knows a few things about search engine optimisation over blog owners that do not which again is not speaking to popularity of content.
    Technorati is a good, accurate, indicator but it favours blogs and incoming links from blogs that are registered with technorati.
    Alexa is considered increasingly accurate the closer a blog is to being within the top 100,000 websites in the world.
    The social bookmarking factors are probably not a great measure for philosophy of religion blogs but they are accurate at least.
    So overall, as I said it does depend a bit as to the sources of some of these measures and how much weight is placed on each. I tend to lean towards unique visits being the most important, followed by RSS subscriptions and incoming link indicators like technorati, page rank, etc. I think these give a good indication as to popularity of content at least and if a site is poorly written it won’t do well on these factors.
    I think anything that rewards prolificness should not be considered at all, so if I ranked highly in that category I would not give the ranking much weight.
    As for the missing sites they probably were not submitted for consideration. Often those running blog rankings will gather together the like-sites they know of and from there will consider new applicants.
    Maverick Philosopher is a site I would expect to rate highly but Matthew is not wrong in saying that the fact he has moved sites and has not imported his posts and comments with him each time he moved will count against him. That said, a lot of the above measures only look at the previous 6 months or less so it might not hurt that much.

    July 13, 2009 — 23:04
  • I also found these lists a bit puzzling, and suspect Mr. Mullins is correct that changing URL addresses probably does affect some of the results. But some of the categories I don’t even understand (what is the technorati blog rank? what is delicious?) Garden of Forking Paths was among the odd omissions, less sure about the self-proclaimed “Maverick Philosopher” (though I’ve not looked at it in a long time, but at least in the past, it was usually an amazingly rich repository of philosophical mistakes). I suspect Professor Pruss is correct that a blog on a topic of interest to laypeople and scholars in other disciplines, like philosophy of religion, is likely to fare better.

    July 23, 2009 — 10:40
  • As I said above, changing URL addresses will not affect many of the criteria being used as most look at only the last few months of stats and not where your blog was a year ago.
    Technorati is a search engine specifically for blogs. If you register and claim your blog in Technorati your rank will increase as will your blog’s authority as other Technorati registered blogs give you backlinks.
    Delicious is a social networking site that enables you to share the sites you think are worthy of being bookmarked. Philosophy blogs tend to not do so well on it as the sort of person who uses a lot of social networking probably is not the sort of person who is deep and philosophical.
    I find the list fairly accurate. My own blog, MandM, is sitting slightly lower than I expected it to but then it has been on the list less than a month so our unique hits score is zero which will be throwing off the formula.
    Again if you think a blog has been omitted, submit it for consideration.

    July 23, 2009 — 17:38