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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Richard

“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?

Almost like that gaggle can’t tell when their graphs are spliced in upside down. Shame if that were really the case, yeah?

NICK LUKE

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.

Richard

[How about reposting this under Tips and Notes? -REP]

Willis Eschenbach

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

PearlandAggie

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

ChrisM

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.

P.F.

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.

Richard

“[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]

Mike Jowsey

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.

DirkH

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.

PaulR

Alexa thinks New Zealand, Australia and Finland are regional?

Ray

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

timg56

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?

PaulR says:
October 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Alexa thinks New Zealand, Australia and Finland are regional?
==================================================
Geography…..pppffffttt…….

Duke C.

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

John Blake

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.

Richard

Mike Jowsey – maybe the rabbits do get em and thats what makes him so sour

Gareth Phillips

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!

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.

JanF

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.]

Max Hugoson

“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.

John Vetterling

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.

Robb876

[SNIP: Your drive-by snark is juvenile and tiresome. Why not participate? -REP]

Ian H

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]

Matt

Embarrassing.
Andrew’s English.

andyscrase

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

Gail Combs

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

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)

Ian H

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.

ScottR

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!

DirkH

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.

jorgekafkazar

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!

andyscrase

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.

William Abbott

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?

Daniel Vogler

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.

Tom_R

>> 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.

Dave Wendt

[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.

eyesonu

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.

eyesonu

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.

Phil Clarke

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

WUWT has won this top award twice running.
Sorry about that, RealClimate.☺

eyesonu

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!

John Whitman

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

Jimmy Haigh

‘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?

Al Gored

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.

Darren Parker

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.

Paul Penrose

Phil Clarke,
Oh my god, your envy is so obvious.

Ian H

>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.

Daniel Vogler

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!