Well, Bear obviously didn’t go anywhere over the holiday weekend! Not only did he clean up the duplicate entries, add update notification, and allow for people to edit their entries on the Ecosystem, he has now added rankings by traffic statistics for those blogs using SiteMeter.

As Steven discovered by a semi-random sampling, the correlation between visits and linkage isn’t nearly as high as one would expect. Indeed, a handful of the highest traffic blogs have virtually no linkage whereas some of the higher linkage blogs (including OTB) have somewhat modest traffic.

One wonders, however, if there isn’t an operationalization issue here. Do all the sites exclude self-visits? My “traffic” would probably triple if I didn’t exclude my home and work IPs from the count.

Update: Kevin points out (see trackback link) that SiteMeter actually does a pretty good job of filtering out self-visits, even if one doesn’t exclude one’s own IP.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. joy says:

    Well, some of us can’t exclude IPs because we have dynamic ones that change all of the time (i.e. dialup).

    But for giggles, I’ve just signed up for site meter so I can prove to you that our traffic levels are nearly even although I’m not linked as highly as you. Give me a few days and you’ll see. ;-P

  2. Jay Solo says:

    I compromised. At work I have an IP, which I excluded, so I or anyone here doesn’t count. At home it’s Mindspring, and if I excluded that it would exclude other readers with that ISP. So mine is inflated, but not as much as it could be.

  3. I find the traffic statistics more interesting than the ecosystem ratings. Ecosystem ratings are heavily weighted towards blogroll links, and while there may be a corelation with blogroll links and traffic, plain old traffic rankings seem like the most relavant “stat” in terms of popularity. From a marketing perspective that is certainly what an advertiser would be looking at…

  4. James Joyner says:


    Probably so but I think the linkage tracks something valuable, too: how much “buzz” a site generates. Some sites get a lot of traffic because they provide a valuable clipping service but don’t really say anything. And some get a lot of traffic because they’ve been around a long time and are part of people’s habits even though, frankly, they aren’t very good.

    In some ways, it’s like comparing music based on critical opinions, the degree to which they influence other artists, and record sales. They all tell us different things. Shania Twain sold more records than, say, Lucinda Williams. The latter will have a lot more impact on music than the former.

    Part of the link-traffic disparity comes from “who” is reading and linking. When Glenn Reynolds finds something I say worth linking, it generates several orders of magnitude more traffic than when a Flippery Fish does the same. I’m not sure why FF’s opinion is necessarily to be valued less than Glenn’s just because Glenn has more readers.