Google's Top 25 Catholic Websites

John Henry and myself are a bit of stats geeks and we’ve been trying to figure out the most accurate way to gauge the number of visits American Catholic has been receiving by our readers.  We use WordPress, Sitemeter, and Feedburner to see how we fare and I’ve entertained the possibility of using StatCounter to add to our curious habit.  Then John Henry mentioned Google Reader and how it keeps tabs of the number of subscribers each website and blog has.  That gave me the idea to add all of my favorite Catholic websites and see which ones have the most subscribers!

Now before you go and see who ranks where keep in mind that Google Reader only keeps track of Google account holders that add websites and/or blogs to their reader.  It doesn’t keep track of how many times a site is visited and not all websites such as the Vatican (and yes even a couple of blogs such as Catholic Report) don’t even offer an RSS or Atom feed to subscribe to.  If it’s any consolation Google Reader seems to be the most popular reader out there with Bloglines a close second.

This is the best and easiest barometer I could use to tabulate how popular a Catholic website/blog thus far.  I am sure there are agencies or other better ways to to tabulate how popular a website or blog is so please share it with me in the combox.  These rankings are based on 40 Catholic websites and blogs that I entered.  I ranked only the top-25 only because it sounds like a good round number.  I plan on doing this again in the future and if you wish for your website or blog to be included, please don’t hesitate to post the link to your website or blog in the combox so I can add it to my Google Reader folder for next time.

Enjoy!

1.  EWTNews - 4,038

2.  American Papist by Thomas Peters - 1,466

3.  New Advent - 702

4.  What Does The Prayer Really Say? - 278

5.  Catholic Church Conservation - 197

6.  The American Catholic - 121

7.  The Curt Jester by Jeff Miller - 91

8.  Jimmy Akin - 88

9.  Conversion Diary - 83

10.  Whispers in the Loggia - 74

11.  Holy Smoke by Damian Thompson - 51

12.  Per Christum - 48

13.  Inside Catholic - 38

14.  The Black Cordelias - 36

15.  RORATE CÆLI - 34

15.  The Hermeneutic of Continuity - 34

17.  Pro Ecclesia by Jay Anderson - 20

18.  Vatican YouTube Channel - 19

18.  CVSTOS FIDEI - 19

18.  Steve Skojec - 19

18.  PewSitter News - 19

18.  Domine, da mihi hanc aquam! - 19

23.  New Liturical Movement - 18

24.  National Catholic Register’s Daily Blog – 16

24.  Creative Minority Report - 16

Update I – Here is the snapshot of what I based my rankings on:

google-sub-trends

Update II – In Google Reader, click on the Navigation button.  A drop-down menu will appear with a list of menu options separated into three modules (or boxes).  In the first module (or box) you will see a menu option for trends.  Click on trends and you will get something similar to the screen shot above. You will see two columns labeled Reading trends and Subscription trends.  If you look on the right hand side where it says Subscription trends, there are three tabs under Subscription trends labeled Frequently Updated, Inactive, and Most obscure.  Click on Most obscure.  At the bottom of most obscure you can filter the top 10, 20, or 40 most obscure.  I clicked on 40 and reversed the order.  I may have misread what this means, but I interpreted it as over a 30 day average, each RSS/Atom feed to a different Google Reader is a subscription.

I will admit that I may have misread this.  If I had, please explain this so I can understand what I’m reading.  Outside of sending an email to the Google Reader help desk, I can’t find an explanation of what these labels and tabs mean.

Thanks!

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41 Responses to Google's Top 25 Catholic Websites

  • paul zummo says:

    Pretty impressive.

    Speaking of google reader, I’m curious as to why some TAC posts are syndicated in their entirety on Google Reader, while others just publish an excerpt. Do each of you set your own syndication preferences for your posts?

    For the record, I like seeing the whole thing post.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Google Reader only allows for subscribers to be measured. It doesn’t measure the number of visits.

    If I had the time on my hands and if all Catholic websites used Sitemeter or StatCounter, I would keep track of these visits but it would be a bear!

  • Henry Karlson says:

    What Michael I was pointing out is that the title of the post is itself dishonest. It doesn’t look at all the possible Catholic blogs, and use that to determine which are the 25 top ones (whatever source one uses to get the stats, though as John Henry points out, something is wrong here with the stats). What is dishonest is saying “Top 25″ when what one means is “Top 25 of my favorites” which is not the same as “Top 25.”

  • John Henry says:

    EWTN, New Advent, and American Papist are correct; but WDTPRS has 2,125 subscribers;

    CCC and TAC are fine, Jimmy Akin should be 166; Conversion Diary should be 897; Whispers should be 2,099; Holy Smoke should be 221; Inside Catholic 147;

    And Henry’s point is correct; it’s not really a Top 25, because it doesn’t include all the Catholic blogs. This is more of a ranking of favorites as it’s currently set up.

  • Yeah, I was wondering when I didn’t see Vox Nova in the top 25.

    Are you surprised he didn’t include it, though? ;)

    Also interesting that Tito’s personal blog is somehow #19 (er — the second #18 out of five 18′s?) on the “top 25 Catholic blogs.”

    In short, nothing to see here.

  • e. says:

    “I think they tend toward vanity myself.”

    Vanity?

    With numbers as low as these, even as regarding the top members in the list, I would hardly call these stats as actually being something to be particularly proud of considering the number of sites that comparatively enjoy exponentially more visitations.

    Pride such as that does not tend toward vanity but, more likely, lunacy.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    As far as the total number of subscribers, it is a rolling average over a 30 day period. Which may explain why the numbers may not match up.

    I explained why I called it a top-25, so no, John Henry and Henry K. are completely and categorically wrong.

    It is the top 25 subscribers over a 30 day average.

    As far as Policraticus (a.k.a. the notorious Michael Deem), Henry K., and Michael I. are concerned, Vox Nova isn’t a Catholic blog. When you have three bloggers who voted for the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the United States and a fourth who is pro-abortion, then well their actions speak for themselves.

  • Rick Lugari says:

    Still far from perfect, and it would be a challenge to compile, but the technorati.com stats would be a better measure of a blog’s popularity (or more importantly, it’s credibility on a peer review basis).

    Of course there’s always the challenge of identifying what is a Catholic site. I can envision disputes over sites like Call to Action, Catholics for Free Choice, Catholics United and its front groups, etc.

    And as a refresh just bore out, that latter problem already surfaced. I think it’s best to go by self-identified as Catholic.

  • e. says:

    “Vox Nova isn’t a Catholic blog.”

    Given the extent of its content (and, in particular, its unyielding political support for a visciously pro-abort political figure), I hardly think not.

    In spite of a Catholic’s political leanings, I should think that one would nevertheless adhere to the moral principles as contained in traditional Catholic teaching, such as that regarding Life itself.

    To completely disregard this simply because of one’s political affiliations or leftest leanings merely testify to the apparent moral contradictions within the character of such individuals, that more likely than not would yield to the teachings of this world as opposed to that of Our Saviour Himself.

    The Defense of Life is nothing in comparison to the Defense of Moloch, from whom all good things come!

  • John Henry says:

    Still far from perfect, and it would be a challenge to compile, but the technorati.com stats would be a better measure of a blog’s popularity (or more importantly, it’s credibility on a peer review basis).

    Agreed. The google reader stats that Tito has seem to vary widely from what I see (not sure why), so Technorati may be a better source. And Poli’s right, of course, that rankings can be viewed primarily as about vanity (vanity of vanities, all things are…), although I’ve come across some good blogs via rankings.

    I think it’s best to go by self-identified as Catholic.

    Agreed.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    John Henry et al,

    In Google Reader, click on the Navigation button. A drop-down menu will appear with a list of menu options separated into three modules (or boxes). In the first module (or box) you will see a menu option for trends. Click on trends and you will get something similar to the screen shot above. You will see two columns labeled Reading trends and Subscription trends. If you look on the right hand side where it says Subscription trends, there are three tabs under Subscription trends labeled Frequently Updated, Inactive, and Most obscure. Click on Most obscure. At the bottom of most obscure you can filter the top 10, 20, or 40 most obscure. I clicked on 40 and reversed the order. I may have misread what this means, but I interpreted it as over a 30 day average, eachRSS/Atom feed to a different Google Reader is a subscription.

    I will admit that I may have misread this. If I had, please explain this so I can understand what I’m reading. Outside of sending an email to the Google Reader help desk, I can’t find an explanation of what these labels and tabs mean.

    Thanks!

  • Tito Edwards says:

    American Papist,

    I agree. There seems to be a variation in the number of subscribers amongst us.

    I’ll do more research, ie, email Google Reader help desk.

    This is far from being exact science.

    Et al,

    As far as ranking what is and is not Catholic it might be best to rank Catholic websites as far as self-identified Catholics.

  • My guess would be that number of subscriptions may be correlated highly to blog age as well as number of readers, which is the only explanation I can dream up for my personal blog showing more subscribers than The American Catholic, even though according to sitemeter visits I only have 20% as much traffic:

    Subscription Subscribers
    Pro Ecclesia 86
    The American Catholic 121
    DarwinCatholic 134
    Vox Nova 153
    Conversion Diary 262
    First Things 851
    American Papist 1,466
    Charlotte was Both 1,466
    WDTPRS? 2,125

    That, and the last time I’d logged into my Google Reader account was before American Catholic existed — which kind of underlines that the number of subscribers doesn’t necessarily tie to total traffic.

    Also, some disconnects on the numbers reported may have to do with different people having different feed addresses in there. I would assume that standard RSS feed and Atom feed (for instance) would both have different subscription counts because Google treats them as separate items.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    DarwinCatholic,

    Also, some disconnects on the numbers reported may have to do with different people having different feed addresses in there. I would assume that standard RSS feed and Atom feed (for instance) would both have different subscription counts because Google treats them as separate items.

    You may have found the discrepancy. With the exception of one website, I used only RSS feeds. Maybe the RSS and Atom feeds are not counted together but separately.

    Again, this isn’t exact science.

  • Tito:

    While I strongly disagree with the decision to vote for Obama, the notion that Policratius isn’t Catholic is ridiculous and absurd. I often disagree with him, but there ought to be no question to a reasonable and charitable mind that he is Catholic. Furthermore, your use of his real name when he has chosen to go by a pseduonym is petty.

    Policratius:

    I agree. I hate it when Catholic blogs start begging its readers to go vote for awards.

  • e. says:

    Who would’ve thought that something as innocuous as a topic on the top Catholic websites would’ve turned out to be so amazingly controversial?

    Even more spectacular is the seeming outrage as expressed by the notorious gang of detractors that hail from The Left bend.

    Sad, really.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Michael Denton & Poli,

    By no means did I say that Poli is not Catholic. If that is how it came across I want to state that their blog, not themselves individually, is not Catholic per se.

    I was saying that Vox Nova isn’t necessarily a Catholic website due to certain contributors that dissent from Catholic teaching.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Donald,

    I am working on a project so I may have missed some comments that were derogatory towards me. Thank you for spotting them and rectifying the situation.

    I’ve been quite busy at work these last few weeks and so I haven’t posted anything so as not to distract myself from my work. I thought a seemingly innocuous posting on the top-25 Google Reader subscribers might have been fun and informative. I was even going to add dotCommonweal and Vox Nova, but I forgot to do so (I wanted to add them both since they both have a high number of subscribers and visits in St. blogs).

    Who would have thunk it that I would be attacked so viciously.

    Oh well.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    No problem Tito. I thought the comments of the Catholic Anarchist and Mr. DeFrancisis were way across the line of personal insult. I have unapproved some of their comments, and I have sent Mr. DeFrancisis to moderation where I currently have the Catholic Anarchist.

    Gentlemen, my tolerance level of personal insult by either of you in any thread is now zero. I have received numerous inquiries as to why I tolerate either of you on this blog and I must say I can come up with no good answer. Tread lightly or I will go from moderating your comments to banning you entirely. First and last warning.

  • Mark DeFrancisis says:

    Donald,

    You continually allow Tito to make bald, uncharitable and false assertions. I call him on his behavior and you disbar my comments, making them seem worse than they actually are.

    Why do you protect Tito? Let him answer for his lack of charity and untruth.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Mr. DeFrancisis you and the Catholic Anarchist have long baited Tito because you know that you can get a rise out of him. That is not the purpose of this blog and it ends today.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Mark,

    Those are straw man arguments.

    I made an opinion based on three bloggers who voted for President Obama and a fourth who is pro-abortion (or pro-choice, choose your poison).

    How can someone like Michael I. be lying if he has clearly and proudly been stating he voted for the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States?

  • Policraticus says:

    Michael Denton, thank you for the kind words. To clarify I did not vote for Obama, and neither did the majority of Vox Nova contributors. In fact, the three who did vote for Obama were quite clear of their reasons, disavowing his abortion policies and hoping for a reduction in the number of abortions by way of his social policies. It is quite clear to me retrospectively that these members of Vox Nova made a poor judgment and were not correct in their predictions. But, in light of their clearly expressed reasons and faith commitments, I find nothing in our Catholic tradition to suggest that they are not genuine Catholics or that they committed grave sin.

    Now, I am not interested in getting into a war between blogs, be it over web traffic or who can boast of the best Catholic credentials. As the one who originated Vox Nova, I can testify to the strong Catholic faith of all its contributors, and I use as my gauge the teachings of the Church and participation in her sacramental life.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Comments are closed on this thread. I am also not interested in any war between blogs and I will take the steps necessary to eliminate the sources of friction.

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