Guest post by WUWT moderator Mike Lorrey
One of the nice tools that alexa.com has is that it lets you compare multiple sites against each other. For those with competition of either economic or political nature, this is of high importance to gauge how well one is doing achieving one’s marketshare or mindshare goals, and how badly one’s competition is stumbling in delivering its message or attracting customers.
Today I did a four-way comparison between WUWT, Climate Progress and Real Climate, as well as Climateaudit.org, run by our good friend Steve McIntyre, going back through the entire traffic record that alexa has for these sites.
As you can see, there is a rather dramatic evolution over time.
Prior to the 2008 US Presidential election of Barack Obama, three of the four blogs were pretty well competitive (realclimate.org was always the least popular, indicating the general public got that this was an astroturfing site by climate alarmists who tolerated no dissent). Even though Steve McIntyre tended to be the most technical, he still attracted a competitive following. His television appearances and congressional testimony really helped his exposure even if the layman had difficulty avoiding the glaze-over on some of his blog content. After the election, when it became clear that climate change legislation was a top priority for this president, people clearly started educating themselves about it. Our Surfacestations.org project and the resulting report brought us additional attention in the major media. WUWT started clearly distinguishing itself as providing content that was understandable to the layman, did not talk down to the average bloke (like was typical at CP and RC) and did not regularly attack people based on their political leanings. Commentary from all directions was encouraged, with postings by non-skeptic scientists to provide a balanced view, and which only limited commentary when it came to personal attacks and off-topic thread hijacking (again, unlike CP and RC).
This resulted in our weblog award for 2008 as the number one science blog, beating out alarmist blogs, leading to much tooth gnashing by the warmist press.
Our popularity grew as we reported on the growing controversies over FOIA compliance, IPCC dissenting opinions, the dendro-wars, and the continuing spotlessness of the sun while arctic ice coverage recovered from its 2007 low, meeting our predictions and smashing the hopes of the AGW alarmists.
Then Climategate and the CRUtape Letters hit the blogosphere. The alexa stats clearly demonstrate who won the narrative with the public with a dramatic step change in the popularity of WUWT along with a crash of CP and RC after brief spurts. Similarly, climateaudit.org reached its highest ever rankings since the FOIA requests of Steve and friends were so central to the scandal. WUWT peaked several times into the top 10,000 websites globally.
As of this writing, WUWT is ranked #6 by Alexa in the world for Environmental websites, not just climate blog sites. We are higher ranked than the Environmental Working Group, WWF, National Wildlife Federation, Mother Earth News, The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy and The Environmental Defense Fund. We rank just behind The Oil Drum, the primary Peak Oil website.
While things have settled down a bit since climategate broke, we are seeing a recent spurt of activity due in part to Anthony’s speaking tour, where he has spoken to packed and enthusiastic crowds. As we add more reference pages on different topics, we expect to see more traffic grow as these references become additional traffic generators in their own right.
We should reach our 50 millionth website hit some time this coming week, a major milestone in the development of this site. Stay tuned for the announcement.