Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Smelly Web: Spring Swoon for Corporate & Community Blogs

Here’s a summary of this week’s action:

The Smelly Web Indexes for June 19, 2011

The Solo Blog Index
Close: 86
Change: 0
Big movers: NathanBranch -7.9%, MaisQuePerfume -6.3%, KatiePuckrikSmells +9.4%, AnyasGarden +6.9%

The Team Blog Index
Close: 117
Change: -3
Big movers: ISmellThereforeIam -8.5%

The Corporate & Community Site Index
Close: 41
Change: -14
Big movers: Sniffapalooza -20.5%

The Big Picture

The Smelly Web Indexes are an effort to chart the health of the scent-related blogosphere using the Alexa rankings of website traffic. Since August, 2009, I’ve tracked the ups and downs of solo-author blogs, team blogs, and corporate and community blogs using indexes that all began life pegged at a value of 100. This makes them easy to read—like the Dow Jones Industrial Average on which they are modeled.

So what has been the story thus far? Beginning in January, 2010, a steady rank order emerged: the Team Blog Index was highest, followed by the Solo Blog Index, and the Corporate & Community Blog Index was at the bottom. This rank order persisted throughout 2010. In August of that year, however, the Team index began a slow decline. By January, 2011, it has dropped below both the Solo and C&C indexes. The Team index bottomed out in February, 2011, and by April it had climbed back above the other two indexes. The “natural order” of the smelly blogosphere’s web rankings was restored: Team blogs on top, followed by Solo blogs and the Corporate & Community sites.

Now there is a new move afoot: starting in late May, 2011, the C&C index began to slump: it dropped from 80 to 41 (see the chart above). For the weeks ending May 29, June 5, and June 12, all four sites on the index lost altitude. This week only managed a gain. What’s going on? Is it a coincidence that the C&C index also plunged in May, 2010? Who knows.


NathanBranch said...

I love your willingness to chart the viewership of the different kinds of blogs. I'm wondering if some kind of macro-trends will be revealed by following this micro sampling.

Meanwhile, my site's traffic continues to slow. But also, so does my output. Now that you're back on the public beat, I can see that I'm going to have to step things up a bit so that I'm not the consistent "big mover". ;)

Avery Gilbert said...


You worry about your numbers but yours is a consistently top-rated site.

It's weird how traffic rankings become a proxy for audience and therefore a moral reproach: "My numbers are down; I must not be working hard enough."

AnyasGardenPerfumes said...

I have no idea how or why my blog rankings go up or down, and I think Alexa is a bit wonky because it never reflects if I have a big media hit event, or if I'm on vacation.

Avery Gilbert said...


I've compared my site-meter numbers to Alexa traffic rankings and found that they follow each other over the long term (i.e., months). There is also a lag in Alexa; a big couple of weeks will show up in Alexa a couple of weeks later. Finally, my impression (haven't done the analysis to back it up) is that Alexa is rate sensitive: if you're on a downward trend, ALexa pushes you even further down, and a string of good weeks buys you an extra lift.