Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Smelly Web Indexes: February 28, 2010

For the week ending February 28, 2010

The Solo Blog Index

Close: 99 
Change: -13 
Big movers: PinkManhattan +9%, AyalaSmellyBlog +7%, FirstNerve +6%, Olfactarama -131%, MaisQuePerfume -16%, BitterGraceNotes -13%, GrainDeMusc -8%, PerfumeShrine -7%, AnyasGarden -6%

The Team Blog Index
Close: 120
Change: -1 
Big movers: none 

The Corporate & Community Site Index
Close: 31
Change: -4 
Big movers: OsMoz -7%


A down week on all three indicators, led by a 13 point drop in the Solo Blog Index. Overall the SBI had 13 losers and only 5 gainers. The index was pulled down by Olfactarama which posted an eighth consecutive weekly decline and dropped 131% in one of Alexa’s periodic sudden downdrafts. Adding to the pain were MaisQuePerfume which reversed five consecutive up weeks with a substantial drop, and BitterGraceNotes which sank for the fourth consecutive week. On the positive side, PinkManhattan extended its rise to a fourth straight week and FirstNerve notched an eighth consecutive uptick.

The Team Blog Index continued its sideways trajectory of the past seven weeks; none of its sites moved more than 5% .

The Corporate & Community Site Index found itself at a new record low of 31—like all the indexes it started life on August 9, 2009 pegged at 100. This week’s 4 point drop was due to Osmoz which lost 7% in its eighth consecutive down week. Sniffapalooza slipped 1% in its fourth straight weekly decline.

The Long View

Our weekly report always displays the most recent seven weeks of activity on the Smelly Web Indexes. Every so often it’s worth taking a longer view—back to the beginning nearly seven month ago. 

A few things jump out from this chart. The Corporate & Community Index has been on a long, steady decline since mid-September 2009. In the same period the Team Blog Index has held steady in a narrow range, while the Solo Blog Index has declined somewhat since peaking in mid-December.

Why the difference in trends? Some of it can be attributed to the intrinsic nature of the sites. Blogging is time-intensive and team blogs can sustain a higher frequency of posting and comment reply than solo blogs—both factors which keep Alexa rankings high. But by the same logic, corporate and community sites should enjoy an even bigger advantage; yet their rankings are sliding. Does this reflect a slackening of interest in fragrance as a topic, or are readers finding these sites less compelling? You tell me.


carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Late-winter fatigue? Perhaps there's an upsurge around December when people are looking up what fragrances to buy as Christmas gifts? It could also be linked to the number of perfume launches, which slackens off at this time of the year: typically, 10 to 20% of the people who land on my blog are looking up new stuff that's being advertised or written up in magazines.
Just theories.

Avery Gilbert said...


Seasonal trends are always in the back of my mind. Just have to keep tracking the data.

Interesting point about perfume launches. Does anyone keep a calendar of these? Would greatly speed up research.

Fernando said...

What in the world does it mean for something to go down 131%? Going into negative values?

The decline of the corporate blogs doesn't surprise me: they are usually pretty boring, limited in what they're allowed to say or do.

Avery Gilbert said...


It’s the week-to-week difference expressed as a percentage of the prior week. Since Olfactarama’s ranking went from 5,849,515 to 13,488,803, the calculation is:

-7,639,288 ÷ 5,849,515 = -1.31

Or, expressed as a percentage -131%

I haven’t analyzed the site contents so I can’t comment on your speculation about the corporate decline (i.e., OsMoz). As for the community sites, BaseNotes has been highly ranked and very stable the entire period; it’s gained four weeks straight and is at an all-time CCSI high. In contrast, the previously steady Sniffapalooza has dropped four weeks straight and is at an all-time low. Puzzling.

Meanwhile TheDryDown has been bouncing around in a narrow range since November. Since it’s a up-to-the-minute aggregator that casts a wide net, perhaps its ranking reflects overall interest in the scented blogosphere. Just guessing.

Nathan Branch said...

Try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back, Mr. "eighth consecutive uptick" . . .

But I do think CarmenCanada is correct. New perfume launches start in the Spring, and there should be a corresponding increase in traffic at sites that talk about these new releases.

Avery Gilbert said...

Nathan Branch:

Don't worry--I'll grit my teeth and report it when FirstNerve flies into the inevitable Alexa downdraft.

Meanwhile, you and Carmencanada have proposed a testable hypothesis, namely a spring traffic surge driven by new launches. Let's give it a couple of months and see what happens.