Comfort and The Ranking of Wine Blogs

Ranking I like neatly ordered lists. I'm not a control freak, but I find a certain amount of order in all things to be comforting.

Bringing order to the emerged world of wine blogs has been a topic of conversation with many of my PR colleagues. We only want to know what a blogger's audience size is, what they write about and, if possible, a little bit about the demographics of their audience. Is that too much to ask?

In the PBW (Pre-Blog-World), this kind of information was easy to come by for magazines, newspapers, television and radio. It was all neatly measured by third parties and presented to marketers and PR folks for our consideration, particularly if we have advertsing money to spend.

Wine blogs are a different animal, yet marketers and PR folks still want to known who draws the most eyeballs, what those eyeballs do for a living and, if possible, whether or not those eyeballs are old enough to need glasses.

Here are three Wine Blog/Site Ranking Systems that attempt to quantify the "Popularity" of Wine Blogs. Are they accurate? I don't know. I don't really care. I just like a little order in my life.

A LA WINE.COM's Most Popular Wine Blog Rankings

WIKIO's Top Wine Blogs

CELLARER's Most Popular Wine Sites


13 Responses

  1. Kristi Davis - WCI - October 20, 2010

    Very nice list. Good job on where you rank! There is a reason for that…

  2. ValveKeeper of Must - October 20, 2010

    Most of these sites list horribly inaccurate statistics and traffic.
    Some intentionally do not include all sites and blogs.
    Speaking of lists:

  3. Mark - October 20, 2010

    As a neophyte, it seems to me rankings should also consider # of “comments” as this would seem to indicate how interesting the blogger’s topics are and more importantly, how engaged his/her readers are. In this regard, I don’t understand how Heimoff’s blog was not even listed in the WIKIO ranking…unless I missed it somehow?? From my occasional perusal of wine blogs his seems to be more consistently engaged than most others.

  4. Nigel Owen - October 21, 2010

    Im thinking there is a subliminal message in there somewhere.

  5. Steve Heimoff - October 22, 2010

    Tom, I understand your desire for lists. However when it comes to wine blogs, you’re out of luck. We have no idea how these ranking services (including the 3 you list) actually work. They are in all likelihood wildly inaccurate. My blog is consistently in the top 5 or 6 at some services but barely makes it onto two of yours. Until there is some universally recognized, accurate ranking (like a Nielsen or Gallup Poll), you might as well ignore the current ones as completely misleading.

  6. Tom Wark - October 22, 2010

    Actually all these ranking services do describe how they come to their rankings. That said, you’re point is well taken. From a marketers perspective, what I mostly want are readership numbers, demographics of readers and focus of content. Still….the comfort of a well ordered list..Ahhhh.

  7. Tyler F. Long - October 22, 2010

    The problem with these listings is that they display only information they feel is important, and don’t have consistency across the board. At best, most demographic services border are biased, at worst they border on scams in my opinion. But, I have to agree…As long as you have a good list there…
    Tyler Long
    Norcross GA

    • Troy - November 27, 2012

      Did you just say the word scam Tyler F Long? You scammed so many consumers and owe so much and were shut down by the FTC for Scamming consumers with that ridiculous postal exam product scam. $1.6 Million you owe plus more debt you have not paid. You have no right calling anyone a scam. You are a crook and scam artist. Denial is what you must be in to write about others when you have done such crooked scams and obnoxious greed . Beware of TYLER LONG CROOK SCAM

  8. Samantha Dugan - October 24, 2010

    I’ve never been able to figure those lists out. My blog shows up on Postrank but never on the three you highlight here. Okay by me as I have to write fewer, “No I don’t want a sample of Jacob’s Creek” emails.

  9. Greg Brumley - October 24, 2010

    Your exchange with Heimhoff reveals much.
    In truth, the numbers are so small — and, I suspect, the demographic groupings so broad — that few advertisers could base a buy on them or pr gals an effort).
    The value of each blog, IMHO, is really the characteristics of the participants. The more-informed comments on a given post attract readers who, in all probability, are more likely to buy quailty wine and more likely to influence others. There’s value in that. But, how do you measure it?
    I, for instance, tend to read Heimhoff most, and you or Vinography second — but behind the wine news lists. A few months ago, it was a tie between you and Heimhoff. Who knows where the material will lead me next week? That’s probably true of most readers.
    The value of wine blogs is real. At this point, it’s also subjective and barely quantifiable.
    Greg Brumley
    [email protected]

  10. 1WineDude - October 26, 2010

    I think Greg hit the nail squarely on the head on this one.
    The rankings have their place, but the answer to “which ranking should I use?” is “it depends!”
    The rankings use different criteria, and therefore if not transparent about that criteria and process then they *lose* value for people because the ranking process is KEY for understanding how best to use those lists.
    To Steve’s point, there is no gold standard, at least for wine blogs. One could argue that Technorati should be used since it’s kind of the gold standard for blogging in general, but it’s terrible for measuring the influence of highly niche subjects like wine…

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