Answering a reader question on climate web traffic

Reader “Andrew” asks in comments:

Andrew Submitted on 2011/10/05 at 10:55 am

We can always check on hits to climate blogs/sites. I’ll bet there already down on ALL pro and con AGW/climate sites (maybe ask Anthony to provide data comparing all sites with say, same of a year ago). Interest in these sort of issues nearly always fade away, especially when there is nothing on note happening with the weather etc .

Happy to oblige. Here’s the current ranking and past numbers of skeptic/lukewarmer  sites compared to the “premier” site, realclimate.org, run by “real climate scientists” and others.

Traffic rankings on October 5th, 2011:

Site Information for realclimate.org

Alexa Traffic Rank: Global Rank,181,105 Traffic Rank in US: 98,924

Sites Linking In: 4,036

Statistics Summary for climateaudit.org

Alexa Traffic Rank Global Rank 94,096 Rank in US 35,748

Sites Linking In 1,602

Statistics Summary for judithcurry.com

Alexa Traffic Rank Global Rank 144,262 Rank in US 37,218

Sites Linking In: 409

Statistics Summary for skepticalscience.com

Alexa Traffic Rank Global Rank 100,778 Rank in US 43,144

Sites Linking In: 1,776

Site Information for wattsupwiththat.com

Alexa Traffic Rank: Global Rank 17,087 Traffic Rank in US: 7001

Sites Linking In: 4,093

And the summary graph for the past year:


As a side note, one thing I’m particularly amused at is the difference in rankings in New Zealand. You see, Gareth Renowden, a truffle farmer who runs the website hot-topic.co.nz who has in the past referred to WUWT as µWatts (microwatts) seems to think he’s reaching a lot of people, much like John Cook of Skeptical Science. The numbers are quite interesting, it seems I’m not the one with the traffic rank in six plus digits.

He seems to have the traffic numbers for the basis of that µWatts label inverted:

Now compare that to WUWT’s rank in New Zealand:

Hmm, WUWT is beating him at his own game in his own country, 490 to 8,788. I hate it when that happens. Or as he puts it- Savaged by a dead sheep. Indeed not. Of course Gareth may simply be confused over the fact that in the Alexa traffic rank scheme, lower numbers are better.

h/t to Charles The Moderator for the tabular summary.

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71 thoughts on “Answering a reader question on climate web traffic

  1. “As a side note, one thing I’m particularly amused at is the difference in rankings in New Zealand. You see, Gareth Renowden, a truffle farmer .. who has in the past referred to WUWT as µWatts (microwatts) seems to think he’s reaching a lot of people, much like John Cook of Skeptical Science..”

    It seems that Gareth is not very renowned then?

  2. Perhaps Gareth Renowden Takes the difference in traffic and inverts the sign. This seems to be a familiar AGW proponent trick after all.
    Congratulations on an excellent site that you hold open to opinions of all stripes provided they genuinely advance the discussion.
    Nick.

  3. Congratulations to all, including CTM. I find it hilarious that ClimateAudit still draws more traffic than SkS or RC or Judith Curry.

    w.

  4. Anthony, are you implying that the the alternate moniker should be megaWatts instead of microWatts? LOL

  5. Despite being a New Zealander and in the energy business, I have never heard of Gareth until now. Does that make him a legend in his own mind? From the look and info on his site, it isn’t hard to see why he inhabits the outer reaches of the bloggosphere. Long may he orbit there.

  6. Just because WUWT out shines the others by more than an order of magnitude, we must remain diligent and keep the AGW trolls in check. A small cadre of ignorant fools can still do substantial damage.

  7. “[How about reposting this under Tips and Notes? -REP]”

    Can you repost it for me thanks? You snipped it and I dont have it anymore. Could reconstruct – but I’m lazy

    [REPLY: Why did I know this was coming? I can’t move a comment, but I DID copy it to my clipboard. Create an entry in Tips and Notes and I’ll copy it back in. Deal? -REP]

  8. As a Kiwi and regular blogger at NZ’s best climate site, Climate Conversation Group, I have long been aware of Hot-Topic’s pathetic standing, and Renowden’s vinegar rhetoric. Btw, a truffle farmer is a pensioner retiree who blogs all day and a few times a year goes poking around in his one-acre truffle orchard to see if he can dig up some supplementary income, hopeful that the rabbits haven’t got there first.

  9. I just stumbled across a series of videos on Youtube, called Youtube Worldview: The biggest problem facing the next generation. A lot of celebrities and elder statesmen etc are asked the question, I clicked through a dozen of them and the only one I could find who mentioned Climate Change prominently was Peter Gabriel. It seemed to me that everybody else wants to avoid that theme at all costs.

    It’s dead, completely dead. Only Peter Gabriel didn’t notice.

  10. To show our appreciation to this fine website, please click on the ads (google ad-sense) to send Anthony some Love…

  11. I love Gareth’s (borrowed) list of impacts.

    These include:

    Staggeringly high temperature rise, especially over land — some 10°F over much of the United States
    Permanent Dust Bowl conditions over the U.S. Southwest and many other heavily populated regions around the globe
    Sea level rise of around 1 foot by 2050, then 4 to 6 feet (or more) by 2100, rising some 6 to 12 inches (or more) each decade thereafter
    Massive species loss on land and sea — perhaps 50% or more of all biodiversity
    Unexpected impacts — the fearsome “unknown unknowns”
    Much more extreme weather
    Food insecurity — the increasingly difficult task of feeding 7 billion, then 8 billion, and then 9 billion people in a world with an ever-worsening climate.
    Myriad direct health impacts

    Is any of this supported by crediable research or is it mostly a result of assuming worse case increases in temp spit out by the models and then speculating what “might” happen?

    Even if you accept the world’s climate is warming due to human activities, how can one believe that it will result in catastrophy? Where is the evidence?

  12. PaulR says:
    October 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Alexa thinks New Zealand, Australia and Finland are regional?
    ==================================================
    Geography…..pppffffttt…….

  13. From late 2009 on, the summary plot for WUWT is identical to Mann’s hockey stick, only inverted. Such exquisite irony!

  14. Toujours l’audace! As a discriminating, ie. sentient, observer of the noosphere, we note that der grosse General von Watts displays a Napoleonic ability to lead a charge while maneuvering Left, Right, and Center against onrushing Climate Barbarians. Varus, thou shouldst be living in this hour.

  15. Can I point out Anthony that as a regular poster on your esteemed site, that I and another person are completely different Gareths? Just in case there is any confusion!

  16. I think Alexa data is only logged for those that have the Alexa toolbar installed. I don’t know how it affects the overall positions. I presume that high-traffic sites like WUWT get a fairly representative view from Alexa, but I am not sure about the lesser ones.

    I did read some comments on hot-topic.co.nz that they were all far too intelligent to have such ghastly things as toolbars installed, hence the values were not representative.

  17. I don’t think that trafic rankings are a good indicator for interest in a website. I use RSS to monitor new posts on WUWT and CA among others. WUWT has serveral posts a day, CA about once or twice a week. So I visit several pages at WUWT a day and only a couple a week at CA. That doesn’t make CA less interesting.
    I think trafic ranking / new posts is a better indicator.

    [Reply: One of the best traffic measures: in less than 5 years WUWT has received over 675,000 reader comments. ~dbs, mod.]

  18. “100 Giga watts?!!! 100 GIGA WATTS! Where am I going to get a power source like that?” (“The DOC”, in Back to the Future 1.)

    If he’d known about WUWT he’d have had no problem.

  19. ClimateAudit’s ranking is amazing. It has got to be one of the geekiest sites out there (in a good way) and yet it outranks RC, SkS, and ClimateEtc. That’s some serious credibility.

  20. Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.

    [REPLY: Anthony provides verifiable statistics. Do you have a verifiable link? -REP]

  21. I looked up WUWT Page Rank values
    (try here – http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php )
    WUWT gets 6/10, SkS gets 7/10. Interestingly, hot-topic.co.nz also gets 7/10 (higher the better – google itself is 10/10)

    These aren’t measures of traffic, but Google’s ranking of relative importance on the web, and is driven by incoming links (i.e citations).
    I am not surprised that SkS ranks so highly,since it is so highly cited on the web,but I am surprised that hot-topic does, and does so better than WUWT. Some of this maybe driven by twitter and other “web marketing” tools.

    Reply: WUWT also takes a hit for being graphics intensive and slow loading. This can adversely affect rank. By how much? Only Google knows. ~ ctm

    REPLY: SkS gets better Google hits than WUWT, partly becuase Google announced a new policy which directly affects WUWT, but not SkS: http://junkscience.com/2011/05/20/climate-cleansing-google-to-censor-skeptics/

    The Yale Forum on Climate Change reports that,

    … Google leads people to accurate information about climate change. Fifty-two percent of the 980 sites [returned by a Google search on climate change-related terms] contained clear statements in line with the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science evidence. For example, if you had searched for “climate change myths” in early May, you would have found this Environmental Defense Fund site, which says, “The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it.”

    And Google may be willing to fix this problem for the alarmists. The Yale Forum goes on to state:

    Meanwhile, can search engines do a better job of pointing the public toward credible sites?

    A Google spokeswoman, who insisted on anonymity because she is not a Google executive, said the company is always looking for ways to improve results. “Last year, we made 500 changes to the algorithm to improve search quality,” she said.

    Notice the step changes:

    – Anthony

  22. People came to this site out of curiosity during Climategate and many of them stayed because of the interesting posts and intelligent comments (And wonderful moderators)

    The same can be said about “Geeky” Climate Audit.

    Seems the “great unwashed” are not as dumb as some would think.

    Congratulations Anthony

  23. Obviously the web is full of evil conservative white men who even prefer WUWT to Sports Illustrated!

    The late 2009 spike on RC seems quite damning. They attracted people as WUWT did, then lost them all whilst WUWT moved to a higher level (most likely, those visitors quickly learned which site was less likely to drone on and on in self-righteousness)

  24. How confusing – another Ian H.


    Ian H says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.

  25. I’m also a New Zealander and have never heard of Gareth or his site until now. On the other hand I check out WUWT on a daily basis. Anthony, your site is the best!

  26. Ian H says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    “Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.”

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  27. Ian H says: “Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.”

    I think the operative word was intended to be model!

  28. Anthony – thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment. If Google are targeting WUWT based on content that they disapprove of, we should be concerned.
    I wonder if Bing and other search providers have other stories to tell.

  29. I have really been impressed with how intelligent, well-informed and thoughtful the comments are on WUWT. The “great unwashed” are having a great time and we are behaving well too. I log on WUWT everyday – I have learned so much. BTW I throw a quarter in the can for the poor anthonys once and a while too. You have to look for the button in the right-side column. All of us regulars ought to kick in something from time to time. Mr Watts ought to be commended for his labors – but where is his reward?

  30. Out of those 675,000 comments, how many were unique? Meaning did the same group of people spam comments? I keep seeing the same names over and over.

  31. >> Ian H says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    “Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.” <<

    Well, I got the joke.

    A lot of people here take sarcasm seriously, probably because of all the outrageous claims that Believers spout off as fact.

    You need to add “/sarc” at the end.

  32. [Reply: One of the best traffic measures: in less than 5 years WUWT has received over 675,000 reader comments. ~dbs, mod.]

    Out of curiousity I dropped in on Hot Topic. They list ten “Popular Posts” on their sidebar. Half have comment counts in single and double digits. The freshest seems to be from Dec 2010, most are from 2008 and 2009. The one I found especially revealing was No pressure – 10:10 on the button. Talk about pegging the clueless meter.

  33. Anthony and mods, WUWT is clearly a first rate science blog and you are to be congratulated for that. The statistics show that my opinion is shared by many.

    Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit does an excellent job in his very detailed analysis of the topics he covers.

    Bishop Hill is another good site that I picked up from here.

    Steve Goddard at Real Science also creates an interesting read with all the old newspaper clips.

    When I have time from WUWT I also follow many others linked from here. You keep me occupied! I haven’t switched on the TV since I can remember. Keep up the great work.

  34. Daniel Vogler says:
    October 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm
    Out of those 675,000 comments, how many were unique? Meaning did the same group of people spam comments? I keep seeing the same names over and over.

    —————————–

    If you follow the discussions on WUWT you will see that a majority of those commenters are quite knowledgeable and cover the bases quite well. More can be gained from listening than talking. I would guess that a majority are listeners/readers.

    Think of WUWT like an encyclopedia. Read and learn.

  35. Entertainment has indeed always been more popular than education.

    And WUWT is unfailingly entertaining.

    REPLY: …and you are always unfailingly boorish, especially when you write about WUWT at other sites. – Anthony

  36. Tom_R says:
    October 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm
    A lot of people here take sarcasm seriously, probably because of all the outrageous claims that Believers spout off as fact.

    —————

    I like the part refering to ‘the Believers’. I will make that term part of my vocabulary and use it at the next opportunity. Thanks!

  37. Never-ending story of mankind’s need to understand everything in nature with just their own minds as a guide.

    Keep on truckin’ Anthony and Mods.

    John

  38. ‘Gareth may simply be confused over the fact that in the Alexa traffic rank scheme, lower numbers are better.’

    Best give the guy a break. if he is dumb enough to fall for CAGW in the first place, how is he going to figure out the Alexa traffic rank scheme?

  39. Your site deserves all the readers it gets. Always interesting and has done so much for opening and maintaining this debate. Long time since the latex moment.

    Now I’m waiting for the comment that the problem with this analysis is that you are just using the real data, and when adjusted for such vital factors as Team participation and the quality of readers – AGW Believers are, of course, worth much more – that 97% know that RealClimate is the winner. It always has been.

    And their slam dunk models show – no, prove! – that by 2013 all your readers will have vanished.
    You see, they are not thick readers like at RealClimate.

  40. This from his site:

    Gosman October 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Where did the dislike button go?

    Log in to Reply
    . Gareth October 4, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I switched it off at the weekend when we were being swamped by visitors from µWatts.

  41. >Tom_R says:

    >> Ian H says:
    October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm
    “Whoa…whoa…whoa! According to skepticalscience’s model they’re beating you badly Anthony, sorry to say.” <<

    Well, I got the joke.

    A lot of people here take sarcasm seriously, probably because of all the outrageous claims that Believers spout off as fact.

    You need to add “/sarc” at the end.<

    Thanks, I will from now on. I guess I should have emphasized MODEL as well.

  42. Oh believe me i find it highly educational here. I know there will always be trolls and whatnot. I wish i could absorb half the knowledge that i read here!

  43. Now I understand why the warmists claim that the skeptics are well organized, well financed and superior in the messaging business. Well, except for the well financed, they are right: the warmists have lost the interest of their believers, let alone the undecided.

    Now it makes sense, the warmist feeling of being ignored. They are being ignored, except for the scandal, and that was attention in the negative way. Not what the CAGW crowd wants.

    Perhaps Mann or Schmidt could write semi-smutty stories, like Pachauri. That would at least get the RealClimate numbers up.

  44. The Sydney Morning Herald says WUWT is not known for its scientific rigour. Anthony could you email readersed@smh.com.au and state why and how your bog is scientifically rigorous and list the well respected scientists who contribute posts pro and con? SMH is a quality Australian paper but vey warmist.

    [REPLY: a link to the article in question would be most helpful. -REP]

  45. Daniel Vogler says:
    October 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm
    Oh believe me i find it highly educational here. I know there will always be trolls and whatnot. I wish i could absorb half the knowledge that i read here!
    =====================================================

    I agree, this is the best site on the web for Climate Science, and the discussion in the comments are especially important. Thank you Anthony and your team.

  46. Evan Thomas says:
    October 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    The Sydney Morning Herald says WUWT is not known for its scientific rigour. Anthony could you email readersed@smh.com.au and state why and how your bog is scientifically rigorous and list the well respected scientists who contribute posts pro and con?
    =================================================

    Evan, I’ve used many bogs around the world but never had caused to question their scientific rigour, usually I am concerned about cleanliness and odorifosity. :-)

  47. “”””” Andrew Submitted on 2011/10/05 at 10:55 am

    We can always check on hits to climate blogs/sites. I’ll bet there already down on ALL pro and con AGW/climate sites (maybe ask Anthony to provide data comparing all sites with say, same of a year ago). Interest in these sort of issues nearly always fade away, especially when there is nothing on note happening with the weather etc “”””””

    Well I consider myself to have about average command of the English language; in at least three different dialects.

    But I must confess, that I have absolutely no idea what the above quote means.

    If somebody else can translate into either ‘Mercan, or perhaps Kiwi, I’d be most appreciative..

  48. Ray says:
    October 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    To show our appreciation to this fine website, please click on the ads (google ad-sense) to send Anthony some Love…
    ==============
    I agree with your premise, but can someone/anyone tell me what Anthony gains when I click on said “Google ad-sense”.
    It is never spoken of, so I assume the effect is minimal.
    If I am mistaken, let me know.

    Help.

  49. I remember commenting on the size of WUWT and the reply at dinner. Anthony simply said, “I have a mission.”

    It misses something without the modest inflection but it is clear that he has BOTH a special talent and a mission.

    There is something which goes missed in the above post. There are other highly trafficked sites, but this one is highly populated by thoughtful people who look at details. Like the rational discussion, WUWT is a true pole on the internet.

    REPLY: Thanks Jeff for the kind words – Anthony

  50. I cannot pass up an opportunity to compliment Anthony. He is a genius as a blogger. The mix of items that he offers is truly unparalleled elsewhere in the blogosphere. To me, the thread (as in weaving) that adds glory to his creation is his love for natural history and human experience.

  51. This quote that Anthony mentioned above reminds me why I visit this site “The most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring, and people are causing it.” that, and these Misanthropic quotes below.

    “Giving society cheap, abundant energy… would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
    ~ Paul Ehrlich, an American biologist, referring to the prospect of a future abundant source of energy like fusion, in light of the environmental damage wrought by the first wave of cheap energy, fossil fuels (1978).

    “Human happiness [is] not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line we … became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth…. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
    ~Biologist David Graber, in a Los Angeles Times book review of Mother Nature as a Hothouse Flower.

    “The ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty ‘Good riddance!’.”
    ~Paul Taylor in his book, Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics.

    And there are thousands of such quotes from these so-called “respected scientific bodies” and their representative scientists, I find their kind of science distasteful, disrespectful and offensive, it publicly promotes distrust of the great men and women who are actually making a difference in this world to make our lives better through the advancement of technological achievements, invaluable contributions to our vast reservoirs of factual knowledge and the understanding of our resilient planet and it’s environments.

  52. Kind of OT, but has anybody noticed that the most recent postings on RC are all excuses? Excuses about bad cartography, excuses about the ocean not warming (the models don’t predict it! Really!), spin about cosmic rays, and spin about Greenland ice melting less than last year. Grasping at straws, it appears.

  53. ” Daniel Vogler says:
    October 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Out of those 675,000 comments, how many were unique? Meaning did the same group of people spam comments? I keep seeing the same names over and over.”

    Frequent comments from a group of people is not spam. It’s discussion. HTH

  54. Perhaps you missed a site?

    TheClimaterealityProject.org (NOT)
    Alexa Traffic Rank Reputation
    11,900,562 4

    I would’ve thought millions (barf) of views would’ve given the boreman a better rank. /sarc

    Moderators: Just a note, I’ve never been able to open the Tips thread. It crashes my computer (Win7, 64b, 8gb ram, IE9) and it crashed my last computer (XP, 32b, 4gb ram, IE8) every time. Sometimes I almost get to see the top post before it locks. My only choice is to reboot after using task manager to close IE. I tried Firefox on my old computer and had the same result.

  55. Just my humble opinion, but I enjoy WUWT? because we are not told what to think, or how to think. The information is laid bare and one can formulate ones own opinion based on that information. All the different perspectives make for incredible open discussions. There is no better way of learning about a subject that I am aware of. Thank you Anthony and Mods !!

  56. I have to agree with most here – the articles got me here to the site but it was (and is) the post-article discussions that kept me coming back. I think I have posted once before that I learn more from that than the articles most of the time.

    Actually, what got me here the first time was being on another site (a political one) and a troll was blathering about AGW. Another poster told him to, “Go to WUWT and trot that argument out and see what happens.” Being a debater in high school and college, I couldn’t resist seeing what was up with that – and I have been hooked ever since.

    That you ALL for the continuing education.

  57. To George E Smith
    Like I said on October 5 at 1.36 pm
    ———Embarrassing.—————
    ———-Andrew’s English.———-
    By this I meant that Andrew’s English is embarrassing OR Andrew’s being English is embarrassing.
    Or both.

  58. Richard and whoever else loses posts:
    Install the Lazarus FireFox addon (new version with basic functions available for other browsers). It automatically saves what you type. The right-click in the context menu on the reply box, and Recover Text and Recover Form options appear. You can cache/save all entries for longer than the 14hr default; I keep mine for 54 weeks, since I have plenty of disk space.

  59. TedK;
    I have an old 2.7 GHz XP machine, 2 GB ram, FF 8.0. I keep a Tips & Notes tab open at all times. After an entry, it takes ~1 min to reload. No crashes/lockups from using it.

  60. u.k.(us) says:
    October 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Ray says:
    October 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    To show our appreciation to this fine website, please click on the ads (google ad-sense) to send Anthony some Love…
    ==============
    I agree with your premise, but can someone/anyone tell me what Anthony gains when I click on said “Google ad-sense”.
    It is never spoken of, so I assume the effect is minimal.
    If I am mistaken, let me know.

    Help.

    It’s a pay-per-click system. Google Ads pays WUWT to display, and extra when someone clicks on an ad.

  61. TedK says:
    October 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Perhaps you missed a site?

    TheClimaterealityProject.org (NOT)
    Alexa Traffic Rank Reputation
    11,900,562 4

    I would’ve thought millions (barf) of views would’ve given the boreman a better rank. /sarc

    That’s not views. That’s rank. In other words, it’s ranked so low you can probably beat it with a personal site with pix of a few pretty girls and kittens.

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