There are already several lists of travel blogs on the web that rank websites based on different criteria, but none used the one I was interested in: the number of unique visitors a site receives per month. I decided to created this top travel blogs list partly because I wanted to know how the travel blogosphere is doing in terms of traffic, and also because I wanted to play around with Google Visualization and needed some meaningless statistics.
Most websites don’t share this kind of information and therefore I had to rely on traffic estimation services. The most popular traffic estimator is probably Alexa but I discarded that one as it is notoriously inaccurate. Instead I went for Google Ad Planner. It’s statistic are comprehensive and more accurate than Alexa, though they still have a pretty large error margin. Google Ad Planner combines information from a variety of sources including Google Toolbar data, Google Analytics data and other third-party market research.
Unfortunately, Google Ad Planner only keeps track of websites with a certain amount of visitors. Not all the travel blogs in this list have those traffic numbers and I had to resort to another tool. For these blogs I’ve used Compete to estimate the number of unique visitors. Compete uses data from ISPs, their own toolbar and other data sources to estimate traffic. It is limited to US visitors only and it isn’t as accurate as Google Ad Planner but it gives a descent indication nonetheless. For all but one blog the estimates of Compete were lower than of Ad Planner.
The 100 top travel blogs:
Based on real traffic stats that was available from several sites the estimates appeared to be a little bit too conservative. I therefore applied two different constants (one for Adplanner and one for Compete) to adjust for this somewhat.
Only independent travel blogs were considered for this list. Commercial blogs such as National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel and Lonely Planet’s Blog are therefore excluded. I’ve tried to rank as many travel blogs I could find and plan to update this list regularly. If you think a blog is missing just let me know; perhaps it has the traffic numbers to be included in the next update.