Ranking NZ blogs with sitemeter data

There’s a school of thought that the only reliable way to rank blogs is by using actual sitemeter data for visits. Unfortunately, most blogs don’t make this information public. Perhaps if more did bloggers could compare their statistics with those for other sites or have a listed ranking. This would help their interpretation.

I have managed to identify 37 New Zealand blogs with public sitemeter stats, or who self report this information – mostly from Tumeke’s blog ranking reports (see nz blogosphere rankings : March 2009). So how do these sites rank amongst themselves? Have a look at the table below for the April ’09 data. And for those interested in comparing sitemeter data with the traditional blog ranking indices, and with the rankings of Tumeke, Halfdone and Open Parachute – look at my analysis below the table.

Update: Homepaddock has passed on (see Naked Stats) that her stats are also public so we now have 38 blogs on the list.

Visit rank

Name

April Visits

1

No Minister

31,251

2

No Right Turn

26964

3

The Dim-Post

23317

4

TUMEKE!

20696

5

The Inquiring Mind

19603

6

The Hand Mirror

15446

7

roarprawn

15062

8

The visible hand in economics

14616

9

MacDoctor Moments

11147

10

Homepaddock

10931

11

Hot Topic

9199

12

In a strange land

8915

13

Open Parachute

7131

14

Anti-Dismal

6705

15

Reading the Maps

6242

16

New Zealand Conservative

6,241

17

Halfdone

5316

18

Poneke’s Weblog

5215

19

MandM

4535

20

Canterbury Atheists

4505

21

Put ’em all on an island

3967

22

Workers Party

3656

23

The Fundy Post

3160

24

Socialist Aotearoa

2785

25

Liberation

2648

26

Capitalism is bad

2640

27

Hitting Metal With A Hammer

2566

28

Humanitarian Chronicle

2515

29

Put up thy Sword!

1990

30

Webweaver’s world

1628

31

dad4justice

1434

32

Samuel Dennis

1348

33

goNZo Freakpower Brains Trust

979

34

Aotearoa: a wider perspective

964

35

Ozymandias Warning

787

36

The Home Office

207

37

SageNZ

150

38

Clint Heine and Friends

17

Estimating visit numbers

Tumeke bases his ranking score on sitemeter data for visits, or (in most cases) an estimate of these. His estimate is based on Alexa Rank data (3 month average). So I have used a correlation analysis to judge how well Alexa Rank, and other common indices, predict the visit numbers for April ’09.

The results are summarised in the table below. These suggest that Alexa Rank and Technorati Rank explain 40% and 48% of the variation in visit numbers rerspectively. Both are better predictors than Alexa NZ Rank. However Google Reader Subscription Counts predicts equally well as Technorati Rank, and better than Alexa Rank. Unfortunately, fewer blogs are ranked by Technorati than Alexa which creates problems.

When the raw data is ranked (1-37, or 1-32 for Tehcnorati) for each blog I found Alexa Rank, Techorati Rank and Google Reader Subscription Counts would be equally predictive (about 50%) for ranking  visits.

Raw Data Rank numbers

(1 -37)

Alexa Rank 40%* 49%
Alexa NZ Rank 35%* 40%
Technorati Rank (32 sites) 48% * 50%
Google reader 48% 50%

* Logarithmic relationship

Using published blog rankings

So how effective are the blog ranking systems used by Tumeke, HalfDone and Open Parachute in predicting ranking of sitemeter visit numbers? I have given estimates of the effectiveness for each system in the table below.

Although Tumeke’s data for April ’09 are not yet available it would clearly give the best estimate because it uses actual, or estimated, visit numbers. These have a big influence because they contribute the largest amount (80% on average) to the final score (ranking score = actual or estimated visits + Technorati Authority + average weekly posts + average weekly comments ).

However, the fact that visit numbers are estimated from Alexa Rank for most blogs means the actual predictive power of the final score is far lower than estimated from these 37 sites alone (54% compared with 79% for March data using the 28 sites for which sitemeter data was available).

Halfdone’s ranking score uses the formula Score = (Alexa Rank x Alexa NZ Rank)/Technorati Authority/1000.

The predictive power of Open Parachute’s aggregate ranking of the 4 ranking indices only is slightly better than the total aggregate ranking (11 indices).

System Predictive power
Tumeke (stats)* 79%
Tumeke (Estimated)** 54%
HalfDone 52%
Open Parachute (total rank) 60%
Open Parachute (page rank) 63%

* March data using sitemeter data
** March data using Alexa Rank to estimate visits

I think there would be a lot of value in a blog ranking based on actual visit counts. The list above may encourage more NZ bloggers to allow public access to their stats.

On the other hand. I think there is value in having some idea of ranking based on other criteria such as links and RSS subscription counts. Different bloggers may be interested in different criteria for judging their performance.

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16 responses to “Ranking NZ blogs with sitemeter data

  1. Pingback: Naked Stats « Homepaddock

  2. Thanks for adding Homepaddock to your list but I think you’ve transposed me with Macdoctor because I had 10,931 visitors in April.

    Oh, and when you say Homepaddock . . . his it should be her 🙂

    Like

  3. Sorry for that gender chauvinism. And I always have trouble with tables but think I have fixed it now.

    Like

  4. I’m not sure whether you count me as an NZ blog or not, given that I’m a Kiwi but I live in Australia. I have open access to my site meter stats on my blog.

    inastrangeland.wordpress.com

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  5. Thanks for letting me know, Deborah.

    I had your stats there but transposed the wrong name (problems with tables). Have now fixed that.

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  6. According to ShinyStat my count for April would put me around rank 31 in this table, but I have now added Sitemeter to my page as well.

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  7. Thanks Scepticon – that gives me another site. I will have another look next month at the May visit numbers. Unfortunately your sitemeter data won’t be for a complete month but if you can send me your ShinyStat visits for May that would be useful

    Like

  8. No problem. thanks

    Like

  9. Good work, and thanks for the link!

    Like

  10. Pingback: NZ blog sitemeter ranking – May ‘09 « Open Parachute

  11. Pingback: A NZ blog ranking tool « Open Parachute

  12. littlegemsession

    Hi there my stats are public at:
    http://showyourworkings.wordpress.com/

    Like

  13. Thanks for the link littlegemsession. Have added to the database and included in the online sitemeter ranking (A NZ blog ranking tool) which updates the ranking daily. You have displaced a few there.

    Like

  14. littlegemsession

    Thanks Ken 🙂

    Like

  15. just added sitemeter to Lancewiggs.com

    Like

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