W

Whisky Website Rankings – The World’s Top 100

Lies, damned lies, and statistics – or so the saying goes. We decided to check in with Alexa rankings – Amazon’s dubious but reasonably useful website ranking tool – to see what the reality was about website rankings for whisky blogs and magazines. And to actually put their numerical rankings alongside, for transparency.

It’s quite interesting, yet totally meaningless, as often bad implementation for the Alexa code can artificially inflate scores. A look under the bonnet of some of these sites also suggests Very Odd Things going on. People can game it. And of course, it’s not a reliable score that includes other online indicators – bounce rate, dwell time and all that jazz which tells you what people are doing with the articles – including actual visitor numbers. (Statistics are really about creating a narrative, perhaps.)

(Not to mention having implemented tracking codes incorrectly so less than half the content was being surfaced (cough, us, cough) and then forgetting to turn on the tracking code so that the real analytics were being used instead of Alexa’s way too dogy estimates…)

Then the politics. Should we include community sites like Whiskybase, which though not technically a blog is one of the top two whisky websites on the planet? What about very fine retailer blogs, which are often more authoritative? Should news sites sit alongside comment sites? What about those sites who seem to exist for links and affiliate sales? Dormant sites sitting on a precious URL with “whisky” in the title? Newspaper whisky sections?

But why is impact hard to measure? For example, one pleasing score from Serge at Whiskyfun – longest-running with a huge community across social – and the auction markets flutter accordingly. Some of the most respected wordsmiths in the community, which get good traffic (as their posts go viral) don’t seem to register with Alexa at all. One can never please everyone, but it’s an interesting if futile exercise.

These are hardly the thing our legacies are built upon – instead of proper meaningful things like entertainment value, insight, discussion, humour, nuance, emotion. The sense that you’ve come away from the website with far more than clicking on an affiliate link. We need meaning.

But anyway, with actual numerical Alexa rankings as of early November, these are the biggest whisky websites in the world, excluding retailers, including some seemingly dormant sites that are there for posterity. And yes, we could have probably summarised this from our analytics anyway, but some bunch of charlatans are firmly at the number one spot. Coincidence. Never trust statistics.

Top 100 Whisky Websites

#1 – 5

Website URL and then Alexa Ranking circa November 4th alongside.

1. http://malt-review.com – #85,782

2. http://thewhiskeywash.com – #111,985

3. http://www.bozzy.org/ – #113,333

4. http://whiskymonster.com/ – #114,705

5. http://www.breakingbourbon.com/ – #171,342

comparison

#5-10

6. http://www.whiskynotes.be/ – #184,615

7. http://whiskyadvocate.com/blog/ – #193,239

8. http://thewhiskeyjug.com/ – #268,712

9. https://thewhiskyphiles.com/ – #296,059

10. http://www.whiskyfun.com/ – #308,384

 

#11 – 20

11. https://www.forwhiskeylovers.com/ – #308,730

12. http://www.meleklerinpayi.com/ – #322,516

13. https://scotchwhisky.com/ – #367,439

14. http://whiskeyreviewer.com/ – #426,061

15. http://www.distillerytrail.com/ #482,946

16. http://www.whisky.com/blog/ – #485,956

17. http://www.viskigurme.com/ – #510,550

18. http://www.bourbonbanter.com/bourbonblog/ – #681,542

19. http://pancakesandwhiskey.com/category/whiskey/ – #721,338

20. http://bourbonr.com/blog/ – #750,736

 

#21-50

21. http://keyifadami.net/ – #795,661

22. http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/ – #800,026

23. http://www.whisky.buzz/ – #838,491

24. http://whiskycast.com/ – #878,037

25. http://modernthirst.com/ – #963,779

26. https://www.whiskymag.com – #954,593

27. http://www.veviski.com/ – #989,286

28. https://whiskeybon.com/ – #1,081,157

29. http://scotchnoob.com/ – #1,120,663

30. https://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk – #1,147,875

31. http://www.chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/ – #1,223,817

32. http://www.greatdrams.com/ – #1,279,453

33. http://www.fredminnick.com/ – #1,304,794

34. http://bourbonveach.com/ – #1,398,484

35. http://myannoyingopinions.com/ – #1,473,419

36. http://www.biteandbooze.com/ – #1,589,245

37. http://bourbonsippers.com/ – #1,620,898

38. http://www.edinburghwhiskyblog.com/ – #1,784,708

39. https://merrimackvalleyhavurah.wordpress.com/whiskey-blog/ – #1,790,702

40. http://www.whiskystats.net/ – #1,940,192

41. https://dadsdrinkingbourbon.com/ – #1,943,697

42. http://wordsofwhisky.com/ – #2,030,650

43. http://scotchaddict.com/ – #2,076,420

44. http://sourmashmanifesto.com/ – #2,150,231

45. http://www.bourbonguy.com/ – #2,172,933

46. http://www.bourbonblog.com/ – #2,220,002

47. http://www.realmendrinkwhiskey.com/ – #2,241,345

48. http://whiskyoftheweek.co.uk/ – #2,249,599

49. http://barrelsandmash.com/ – #2,334,579

50. http://whiskyexperts.net/ – #2,334,906

51. http://canadianwhisky.org/ – #2,462,383

#51-100

52. http://recenteats.blogspot.com/ – #2,475,353

53. http://todowhisky.es/ – #2,573,755

54. http://www.pursuitofpappy.com/ – #2,602,650

55. http://www.cooperedtot.com/ – #2,634,485

56. http://thewhiskylady.net/ – #2,645,485

57. http://www.lawhiskeysociety.com/ – #2,657,853

58. https://www.thedramble.com/ – #2,675,822

59. http://www.whiskycritic.com/ – #2,689,169

60. https://westmeathwhiskeyworld.wordpress.com/ – #2,705,054

61. http://whiskeyapostle.com/ – #2,706,707

62. http://www.vinspireuk.com/ – #2,794,109

63. http://www.tastethedram.com/ – #2,821,751

64. http://whiskysponge.com/ – #2,864,183

65. http://www.thewhiskywire.com/ – #2,931,249

66. http://adventuresinwhiskey.com/ – #3,063,174

67. http://potstilled.com/ -#3,101,141

68. https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/ -#3,379,162

69. https://americanwhiskeymag.com – #3,415,455

70. https://www.planetwhiskies.com – #3,440,873

71. http://misswhisky.com/ – #3,453,947

72. http://amateurdrammer.com/ – #3,459,883

73. http://rebmordechaireviews.blogspot.com/ – #3,463,155

74. http://sipologyblog.com/ – #3,617,989

75. http://whiskyisrael.co.il/ – #3,628,651

76. http://www.whiskysaga.com/ – #3,736,981

77. http://www.whiskyandwisdom.com/ – #3,853,766

78. http://www.japanese-whisky.com/ – #3,913,035

79. http://whiskyforeveryone.blogspot.com/ – #4,023,942

80. http://awardrobeofwhisky.com/ – #4,054,054

81. http://www.bexsonn.com/blog/ – #4,282,653

82. http://maltactivist.com/ – #4,588,518

83. http://www.bourbongents.com/ – #4,644,359

84. http://lougirl502.com/ – #4,645,908

85. https://ocdwhisky.com/ – #4,729,584

86. http://www.maltmaniacs.net/ – #4,790,934

87. http://www.timeforwhisky.com/ – #4,879,909

88. http://www.scotchcinema.com/ – #5,077,318

89. http://www.whiskymusings.com/ – #5,166,275

90. http://whisky-news.com/ – #5,293,274

91. http://www.divingforpearlsblog.com/ – #5,344,713

92. http://whiskey-reviews.com/ – #5,534,747

93. http://flightclubict.com/ – #5,572,179

94. http://jason-scotchreviews.blogspot.com/ – #5,617,432

95. http://thewhiskeyroom.blogspot.com/ – #5,621,529

96. http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/ – #5,745,427

97. http://thecasks.com/ – #5,784,399

98. http://drinkinsider.com/ – #5,794,040

99. http://www.scotchology.com/ – #5,801,858

100. https://whiskylovingpianist.wordpress.com/ – #5,836,258

 

In the name of transparency, even though this data is readily available and can be exported, we should give a nod to Barry at Whiskyphiles for his initial forays into these clearly disputable rankings.

  1. Avatar
    TomW says:

    Good to see that the old strategy of simply regurgitating press releases is enough to place in the top 5 (*cough* whiskeywash *cough*). Gives hope to all of us who are creatively challenged.

    As you say, damned lies and statistics. Malt and WhiskyFun are the only blogs I check on a daily basis. How much is traffic and how much is playing the game that Google wants you to?

    Does reddit/r/scotch count? In some ways it’s more of a group blog than something like whiskybase, which is more a site for tickers. It’s in a grey area. Goes to show the futility of drawing hard boundaries, I suppose.

    1. Avatar
      Mark says:

      Hi Tom. Well, we cannot comment on the quality or otherwise of many of the names on the list there – that’s for others to speculate…

      The thing is, Alexa doesn’t really even correspond to real traffic. It’s educated guesswork. And I’m pretty sure many of the blogs are doing things to get higher readings (duplicate code is sometimes a thing that influences Google Analytics for example). But Alexa does also show that many of the higher ranking sites have almost zero engagement – so basically there might be high stats, but no one is reading or rather sharing and talking about it. Which makes me very suspicious of it all.

      I’m with you – a handful of good blogs/writers I check in with, Thijs, Ruben, Serge, and the miserable lot around these parts.

      Good call on reddit – I suppose it being a ‘forum’ (in the old style) rather than blogs/news/magazines is probably why I’ve not included it. Plus it has an Alexa rank of 18, which would mean we weren’t number one, but neither would anything else – ever!

      1. Avatar
        TomW says:

        I wouldn’t have included reddit either, FWIW. I was just musing out loud. I guess forums really are an older form than blogs. I’m so used to the idea of any type of social media being “new” I hadn’t considered how old-fashioned reddit is in a lot of ways.

        How does Malt get engaged upon, I wonder? I read but I rarely comment and I never share (sorry). What happens when I click on an article and realize it’s from an author (no names) whose articles I don’t care for and immediately leave? Is that what they call a “bounce”?

        Sorry, thinking out loud again. I know there are no answers but the way I regard Malt is almost more as a magazine than a blog.

        1. Avatar
          Mark says:

          Yes, good old-fashioned forums. That was the way of things when I first came into online communities.

          Malt: well, it depends on the user. Regular visitors probably check in once a day, perhaps just one article; others who are new might look around a lot more. Those searching in airport travel retail might just come to look at the dodgy whisky they’re standing in front of, then leave right away – the bounce, as you point out there yes.

          There are comments/shares on social media, which started to take debate externally, and which is hard to keep track of. It also depends on how popular the whisky is under the microscope and so on. So it isn’t an exact science.

          We perform really well on mobile – the vast majority of our users – so that’s probably reading on social or googling a whisky whilst out and about. That’s pretty much where we like to keep things – community and helping people out whilst searching. And to perform well for searches you need long-form quality content, which hopefully we’ve got!

          The problem with analytics is, it’s really about what you want people to do on your own site. As long as it fits in with your aims, it’s all good.

        2. Avatar
          Frugal drinker says:

          I’ve always been a fan of forums. The forum over at scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk for example may not be the busiest in terms of traffic, but you do get some good opinions and views from the posters there.

          I wish malt-review.com had a forum *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *