Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wild rises and falls in waterways websites' rankings

Some years ago (four (!) - I just looked it up) I took it upon myself to log the UK Waterways Ranking Site chart every week, thus preserving a regular record of the top thirty positions of waterways websites in Tony Blews's tables. At the beginning there was quite a lot of fluctuation as bloggers and website owners cottoned on to the ranking site; they installed the widget and put the position indicator on their sites, and they shot up the chart. And others moved down, of course.

Then things settled down, and the only major fluctuations happened when a new boating forum started up, or when a blogger recounted a particularly riveting story (there's a pun there if you'd like it). Now I can't think of any waterways website which doesn't subscribe to the UKWRS.

BUT ... the last two or three weeks have seen unusual ups and downs. Jim Shead's Waterways Information site has slumped to a lowly number 54 from its number 4 position of two weeks ago. New website Living on a Narrowboat has come from nowhere two weeks ago to number 4. And Sarah has written about her blog's sudden rise to 18 one recent Tuesday - a position which didn't last long: Chertsey is down to 58 today.

What is going on?

You might like a reminder of what the UKWRS looked like when it started up:

This was in its first week of operation, in January 2009. It's a lot easier on the eye now.


roger said...

Jim Shead's site has just dropped off the planet. It just isn't there any more, hate to think that it's all gone.


Bruce in Sanity said...

There's a thread on CWDF about it; seemingly some *person* on the Thames persuaded Jim's web host that there was a privacy issue and they've taken his site down, boo.

Funnily enough, I just blogged last night about not being on UKWRS, daren't risk what it would do to my peace of mind!



Paul Smith said...

Hi there. Paul Smith here. is my site. Thanks for the mention, but if I can just make a small correction in your statement? The site isn't new. It's newer than many in the listing, but I created it shortly after I moved onto my boat, James, nearly three years ago. Since then, I've invested about 2,000 hours in the site to get it into the current condition and to increase the visitor numbers. It's not a flash in the pan. The reason I haven't been ranking well until now is because I didn't have the code right on the site. It was missing the hits on the forum. It's working properly now so I should stay at the top of the chart.

Thanks for taking the trouble to records the chart's ups and downs. It makes very interesting reading.


Halfie said...

Hello Paul, I was just having a look at your site when your comment came in! I didn't mean to imply that your site was a flash in the pan, just that it appeared to be new to the rankings.

I see that you intend to start charging for visits to your site. Do you not think that that's a retrograde step when there are many sources of free information on the web?

Paul Smith said...

Please give the URL of the page you were looking at. That is an old page that I thought I had deleted. No, I don't intend charging for access to the site. It was just a technique I was using then to encourage site visitors to subscribe to the newsletter. It worked (I now have just under 6,000 enthusiastic subscribers) but the fact that the site wasn't accessible to none subscribed visitors meant that my true visitor numbers weren't recorded for the UK Waterways Ranking chart. I removed the restrictions some time ago. The site is completely open to all visitors.


Halfie said...

Paul, I'm away from my usual computer at the mo - when I'm back on it I'll be able to tell you which page it is.

Halfie said...

Paul - I'm back on my home computer ... the page with the info about restricting access is your home page: just under the picture of the boat.

Paul Smith said...

Ah! Thanks for that. I confused the site software. I had two pages with the same name. The wrong one was selected as the home page. I have changed to the correct page now and edited the content. Thanks for pointing it out. Paul