The Top Beer Bloggers Revealed

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most popular beer blogger of them all?

Yeah, okay, dorky intro, but it’s an interesting question because all the beer blog readers I know seem to have different lists of blogs they read. What’s more each claims that his (or her) blogroll contains “the most popular and widely read” beer blogs — a claim that seems doubtful because the lists (some as large 60 blogs) rarely have more than a handful of sites that overlap.

So the other day I sat down and wrote a quick little program that uses a handful of terms including “beer”, “brewing”, “brewery”, “micro-brew”, “craft-brew”, and “brewpub”, to identify the top results for beer related blogs on the Internet. Since blogs are differnet than traditional websites (both in the way they’re read and cataloged), I used three different sources to determine popularity:

  • Technorati “Authority” Ranks — Technorati is the probably the most comprehensive catalog of blogs and user-created content on the web. It’s “Authority” ranking is an attempt to determine the popularity of a blog by counting the number of links to/from a blog post over a rolling six month period. Special weight is given to specific “posts or articles” (as opposed to the general links to other websites that appear in the sidebar of a blog). The theory is the more links from other blogs, the more discussion there is on the post (or posts), and thus, the more “Authoritative” a blog is. The most “Authoritative” on Technorati is Engadget with a rating of 28,203. The average among 82 million blogs is around 8.
  • Google Page Rank & Blog Search Results — Google’s rankings are based on a complex (and changing) combination of inbound/outbound links, keyword frequency, clickthrough, website age and, in the case of blogs, frequency of updates. Google’s analysis is more well-rounded than the blog-specific approach of Technorati’s and its search results tend to be more relevant to specific queries (e.g., “Portland micro-brews”). However, its search results include considerably more “non-blog” and “blog-spam” (aka, “junk” sites that scrape content from others) sites, so “true” popularity can skew widely.
  • Bloglines Subscriber Rankings — Since a great many blogs aren’t read by visiting the blog, but via a “blog reader”, I decided to include Blogline’s Subscriber Rankings as a measure of popularity. While Bloglines isn’t the largest blog reader (Yahoo is), it is a powerful second, and handles a large number of blog subscriptions (around 31 million). Bloglines will suggest other blogs to you by analysing your current subscriptions and comparing those to similar blogs. The more subscibers a blog has, the more “popular” it is considered to be.

For this exercise I didn’t include “page views” or “unique visitors” (measures of traffic on traditional websites), because blog readers and aggregators like Technorati, Google. Yahoo, Bloglines, etc. skew those numbers by visiting a blog once and serving the results to all it’s subscribers. (So a blog with 500 readers might only see 50 visits because many of those readers read the content through a blog reader rather than visiting the site.)

Additionally, community discussion, bulletin board and blog aggregation-type sites such as RateBeer, Beer Advocate, Beerinator Beer Feeds, etc. were excluded from rankings as I wanted this to be a measure of “true” blogs where the content is created by a single person or small group.

So what is the most popular Beer Blog of them all? (Drumroll please…)

With a Technorati Authority of 144, Google search rank of 3 (on average), and a Bloglines subscriber base of 104, it was the hands down winner. No other blog ranked nearly as high in all three results.

I guess this isn’t much of a surprise. With multiple writers, plenty of updates, and great subject matter, A Good Beer Blog has all the ingredients for a top-rated blog. What was more surprising was who ranked number two and the number of other blogs that I thought for sure would be strong contenders that weren’t. I’ll share those with you in the next part of this post.

[End part 1]

Author: Sage
I'm a writer, marketing strategist, tech weenie and craft beer lover.

5 thoughts on “The Top Beer Bloggers Revealed

  1. I’m excited by the level of beer-nerdiness in this post!

    I’m also in awe at the number of bloglines subscribers that A Good Beer Blog has! My blog has 3! 🙂

  2. You are very kind. In fact, it’s posts like this that I get to show to my wife and parents as justification for all the beer runs I get to do to support the beer blog. Keep it up. I am hoping to have a “family camping trip” into the mid-west later this summer.

  3. No Kindness, just cold, hard facts Alan.

    Next time the wife complains, tell her, “do you know who the number one beer blogger in the world is? That’s right — me. And you get to sleep with him.”

    That’ll keep her quiet. (for about 5 seconds — but it’ll be the best 5 seconds ever.)

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