The Corner

Traffic Agonistes

John Hawkins of Right Wing News has compiled a list of the top 50

political websites. It was nice of him to do and worth looking at. But the problem is he uses the Alexa service as his source. He notes some of the problems with Alexa, but not all of them. The biggest problem, as I understand it, is that Alexa ranks sites using based upon visitors who use the Alexa tool bar or otherwise register with them. And, Netscape and Mac users can’t even download the toolbar if they want to. So, they are invisible to Alexa. As you can imagine, this wildly skews results. So much so some sites have come to believe that Alexa actually reflects their real comparative rankings rather than their ranking among a small and disproportionate subset of web users (some of whom might be disposed to playing games to artificially spike their traffic). So while it’s nice to be listed as the #7 political website, we have to take it with a grain of salt (though I suspect we might rank higher).

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now. @jonahnro

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