Has anything changed?
Let’s continue the process we started over a year ago, which is to use Alexa’s website ranking algorithms to determine website visitor counts.
What matters is consistency.
We use the same website every quarter to check the Montana website stats.
And this is what we’ve learned.
Here are the 24 most visited sites in Montana news and politics:
- Missoulian: #11,173
- Billings Gazette: #14,795
- Bozeman Daily Chronicle: #20,994
- NBC Montana: #24,266
- KPAX: #28,445
- Helena IR: #30,840
- GF Trib: #31,994
- Flathead Beacon: #34,511
- MT Standard: #35,681
- Missoula Independent: #112,984
- KXLH: #156,874
- Big Sky Words: #226,664
- KFBB: #341,938
- Last Best News: #369,618
- Flathead Memo: #414,227
- MT Cowgirl: #480,327
- ID/MT Post: #495,008
- Missoula Current: #501,292
- Combat Blog: #754,056
- Montana Political Review: #11.2 million
- Logicosity: #11.7 million
- Western Word: #16.1 million
- Reptile Dysfunction: No Ranking
- Big Sky Rising: No Ranking
So how does that compare to 3 months ago?
Let’s start with the newspapers:
- Flathead Beacon: Up 18,255 places
- MT Standard: Up 2,194 places
- Missoulian: Down 1,464 places
- Billings Gazette: Down 4,702 places
- Helena IR: Down 4,788 places
- GF Trib: Down 5,092 places
- Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Down 9,682 places
- Missoula Independent: Down 11,931 places
Now to the TV stations:
- KPAX: Up 9,865 places
- KXLH: Down 1,327 places
- KFBB: Down 157,648 places
Finally, the blogs:
- Last Best News: Down 37,645 places
- Big Sky Words: Down 49,602 places
- MT Cowgirl: Down 84,085 places
- Flathead Memo: Down 137,500 places
- ID/MT Post: Down 158,058 places
- Missoula Current: Down 293,960 places
- Montana Political Review: Down 1.6 million places
- Logicosity: Down 2.3 million places
- Western Word: Down 4.5 million places
- Reptile Dysfunction: Still no ranking
- Big Sky Rising: No longer ranking
Now let’s analyze this a bit.
We saw 3 months ago that the Missoulian had overtaken the Billings Gazette to become the most visited newspaper in the state.
It’s maintained that top-dog position over the summer.
Still, nearly all of the daily newspapers have seen their traffic fall a bit during the quarter.
Actually, when it comes to the newspapers, nearly all saw their gains of the previous quarter wiped out.
The only exceptions were the Flathead Beacon and the MT Standard, which saw modest gains.
When we look at the MTN TV stations we see that Missoula’s KPAX has improved its rank, though not as much as NBC Montana…which doubled its traffic, overtaking KPAX in the process.
Helena’s KXLH has remained about the same while Great Falls’ KFBB has seen its traffic plummet. Last quarter it was #184,000 and this quarter it’s #341,000.
Who dropped the ball at that ABC/Fox station?
Now the blogs.
Every single Montana political blog saw a drop in traffic over the summer, though some were worse than others.
Last Best News is in about the same position it was last time we checked.
So they managed to hold steady over the summer. Most weren’t as lucky.
The Missoula Current had some astounding losses this quarter, going from #207,000 to #501,000.
That’s a 50% drop in visitors.
Last time we checked we saw that the Flathead Memo had pulled itself out of the abyss, going from a pitiful #8.9 million ranking to a #276,000 ranking.
In the three months since then, however, the site has lost half its traffic. I feel this was due to the sporadic posting schedule during August.
Since our last look at blog rankings, Intelligent Discontent changed its name to The Montana Post.
This hasn’t hurt it too bad in the rankings, though it has fallen somewhat.
MT Cowgirl is another site that lost about a quarter of its traffic over the summer.
Reptile Dysfunction continues to have such low levels of traffic that it doesn’t even rank.
I don’t think the site will ever rank.
Back in August 2016 the site had 68,795 visitors according to their sidebar’s blog stats.
Today they list 117,769 total visitors since the site started.
That means that over the course of the past year, the site has seen about 49,000 visitors, which roughly translates to 1,000 a week.
I get about 1,000 a day on my site.
My site is still the most-read political website in the State of Montana, even with my seasonal drop in traffic.
Hell, I even took about 20 days off over the past month. Despite that, the other political websites were not able to catch me.
The reason is simple – no one cares about their content a month after it goes up.
Their content is too tied-into the news. People typically don’t search for news a month after it’s been up, even a week or a couple days.
But they will look at non-news related stories for years. My site has tons of these and that’s why I’m the most visited Montana political website.
The second-most visited site is Last Best News, which comes in about 100,000 ranks lower than my site.
Missoula’s Combat Blog lost about half of its traffic over the quarter. This despite the fact that Dan Brooks, the site’s writer, was named the best journalist in Missoula. Go figure.
Big Sky Rising hasn’t put a post up since May. I’ll now consider that site as dead, and it won’t be ranked next quarter.
Montana Political Review has fallen by 1.6 million places in the rankings while Logicosity has fallen 2.3 million places.
I consider the latter to be one of the best political websites in the state. It’s a shame hardly anyone reads it.
Western Word is down 4.5 million places. I rarely visit this one anymore.
And I think that’s it.
Check back in early-December for our next look at Montana political website rankings.