Some of you may have heard of “the well-known climate denier site, Watts Up With That” as Scientific American described it. If you visit it — think ‘birthers’ with better charts — you’ll see in the upper right-hand corner a quote from the author Fred Pearce: “… the world’s most viewed climate website.”
The website that WattsUpWithThat.com uses for comparing the web statistics from different sites is Alexa. Anyone can use Alexa to compare the page views of Climate Progress vs. WUWT. Here is what it looks like:
So Climate Progress apparently has the same number of page views as “…the world’s most viewed climate website.” I say “apparently” because Alexa is unreliable, as I have pointed out many times. But Watts keeps using it over and over again to hype his website, most recently in an April 14 post.
How unreliable is Alexa? Plug the phrase “Alexa is unreliable” into Google. You get 196,000 results! Frankly, most webstats comparison sites are considered unreliable, but Alexa probably most of all, so it is perfect for Watts who is unconcerned with accurate statistics, like all deniers (see Wattergate: Tamino debunks “just plain wrong” Anthony Watts).
For instance, Alexa says my page views over the last 3 months have risen 63%. Our own stats just don’t show quite that. But presumably Alexa accurately reflects Watts’ webstats or else why would he keep citing them?
While we’re on Alexa, let’s look at one last stat — daily page views per user.
Yes, WUWT probably has more website visitors that Climate Progress, but they apparently don’t read much of his stuff day in and day out. Not a big surprise.
Real science is compelling because it attempts to make sense of observations of the real world. Climate science denial is fundamentally incoherent — it isn’t trying to explain anything but merely aims to spread confusion about science and smear practicing scientists.
Finally, a lot of people who read my content never come to the website. I have a subscriber-driven strategy. I have over 48,000 subscribers now to my RSS feed — click here to join them — which is a huge number for a website that focuses on a fairly narrow set of issues. My subscribers have been rising pretty steadily week in and week out. They have doubled in the past year and a half.
I don’t know how many of my subscribers actually read my posts each day, or how many posts they read. The email subscribers and many if not most of the RSS feed subscribers can read any of the posts they want without ever coming here and registering in my webstats. I will note that if, say, only 1/3 of my subscribers read 1/3 of my posts a day without coming to CP, that would mean my actual pageviews were more than double what the webstats programs show. There is, however, no good way of finding out.
As testimonials go, “… the world’s most viewed climate website,” is debatable at best, especially considering the source (see “New Scientist’s Fred Pearce jumps the shark”). I remain partial to Tom Friedman’s “the indispensable blog.”