The last time we looked at Montana blog rankings was March 15.
At that time, the top 5 news sites in the state were:
- Billings Gazette
- Bozeman Daily Chronicle
- Helena IR
- MT Standard
And in March, the top 5 blogs were:
- ID/MT Post
- Missoula Current
- Last Best News
- Big Sky Words
- Combat Blog
Today we’ll look at the most recent rankings.
We get this information using the website traffic estimator site, Alexa.
Here are the 21 most visited sites in Montana news and politics, with their US rank listed first (sometimes global if traffic is too low), as well as the number of unique visitors the sites have received over the past month:
- Bozeman Daily Chronicle: #8,198 (130,000 unique visitors)
- Billings Gazette: #14,118 (306,000 unique visitors)
- Missoulian: #17,692 (285,000 unique visitors)
- GF Trib: #18,735 (180,000 unique visitors)
- Helena IR: #25,027 (191,000 unique visitors)
- MT Standard: #36,982 (155,000 unique visitors)
- Flathead Beacon: #48,380 (94,000 unique visitors)
- KPAX: #51,875 (100,000 unique visitors)
- NBC Montana: #56,547 (97,000 unique visitors)
- Missoula Independent: #59,419 (99,000 unique visitors)
- KFBB: #110,976 (37,000 unique visitors)
- KXLH: #134,745 (15,000 unique visitors)
- Missoula Current: #170,499 (26,000 unique visitors)
- ID/MT Post: #172,401 (24,000 unique visitors)
- Big Sky Words: #319,942
- Last Best News: #420,320
- MT Cowgirl: #520,358
- Combat Blog: #2.5 million
- Western Word: #4 million
- Flathead Memo: #10.9 million
- Reptile Dysfunction: #16.4 million
We haven’t seen a huge number of changes over the past 3 months.
The Bozeman paper has moved up to the most visited local news site in the state, beating out the Billings paper.
In fact, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle saw a 3-fold increase in their traffic. I guess they’re doing something right over there. I dunno…I don’t read that paper.
The Great Falls paper also saw a major increase in traffic, going from a rank of #44,000 to #18,000. Pretty good.
The Flathead Beacon also saw its traffic boost it up about 20,000 ranks.
The Missoula Indy has seen its traffic about double, perhaps due to the site changes and the influence of Lee Enterprises.
The TV news site KFBB has doubled its traffic, while KXLH has seen a slight improvement.
The Missoula Current has seen enough traffic to move up 100,000 ranks.
Montana Post is still the most popular blog, and it saw its traffic go up a bit. I come in number two, and my traffic increased very slightly.
Last Best News fell about 80,000 ranks, and I’ll remove that site from these quarterly posts next time, as they’re shutting down.
Combat Blog by Missoula Indy writer Dan Brooks has fallen off considerably, mostly because he only put up a couple posts in April, one in May, and one so far in June. Those are clear signs the site is dying, that the writer is losing interest.
MT Cowgirl has done the exact opposite. While Brooks has lost about 2 million ranks, Cowgirl gained 2 million ranks. Yes, the winter and spring was not a good time for that anonymous Helena site, but things are looking up.
Western Word has done quite well, and it's ranking for the first time in some time. Reptile Dysfunction is doing the same. Flathead Memo, however, has fallen about 4 million ranks since last time.
I really think the ranking number is more accurate than the unique visitor number.
For instance, the MT Standard increased its traffic by nearly 34% over the past year, while the Billings Gazette saw its traffic fall by 19.2%.
We get this information from a site called Traffic Estimate, and that’s also where I get the unique visitor numbers from.
Sadly, for many of the blogs, they’re just not visited enough for us to get an idea of their unique visitors…unless we use some sort of paid product.
Also, I’m not sure how reliable those numbers are.
Take the most visited newspaper, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. It has a higher website ranking than its nearest competitor, but a lot fewer unique visitors.
How does this make sense?
It doesn’t, so I think you have to take the visitor numbers with a grain of salt.
And remember, unique visitors are different from page views…where it might be the same person coming back multiple times a day to check the site.
That might be 5 or 10 page views, but it’ll be just one unique visitor. Last week Martin Kidston told us that his Missoula Current is getting 100,000 page views each month, but Traffic Estimate tells us their unique visitor count is just 26,000 each month.
And that’s all I have for you today. Come back in September for the next installment of these rankings posts.