Evaluation of sites

I run a competition of wine websites based on the methods explained here.

To find websites I’ll like, I follow websites I already like. This is not the point here. My contests attempt to be open, diverse and objective by using publicly available figures. How do websites get added to the list?

Calf showing at a competitionThis methodology estimates the popularity of websites. It is scientific in that it calculates valuation from objective metrics.

Two criteria are used for assessing online marketing success: Google PageRank and traffic. Then we aggregate them into a valuation figure.


PageRank has a patent by Google. It was supposed to represent the likelihood of a websurfer to stumble on a given web page.

In practice it is now correlated with the level of trust Google puts in the website domain. It is biased to older websites and big corporations.

Google also manipulates the public PageRanks for their corporate agenda. That makes at least two reasons why we should not limit ourselves to this metric. You can find details at a rant on Google PageRank.


This is the democratic metric. It assesses the number of people who are likely to visit the website next month. These numbers are not taken from the webservers and therefore do not show the actual traffic.

This measure derives from the USA traffic levels measured by Compete.com. The Cellarer metric is improved from the Compete value. The Compete figures over the past year are averaged and trended so that an aggregate is built. A bonus is given to non-US sites so that the final figure shows worldwide traffic.

The Compete figure is not available for sites that do not use their own domain name. Such sites are thus put at a disadvantage on this criterion. The public numbers and those of many other hosted blogs are very low because their traffic is not tracked independently of that of their platform.
There are two separate ways out of this problem:
- Get your own domain as Robert McIntosh did. This shows a long-term commitment to the site.
- Get liked by Google. This is the situation of the numerous sites currently showing in the ranked list.

On the contrary the same sites are favoured by the other metric (PageRank) since they receive links from well known platforms — which (usually) have nothing do to with the niche (food or wine). Examples: the New York Times, Blogspot.


The valuation is a sum (in USD) that the website could sell for. This is hypothetical: it is a value that would serve as a reference if the owner wanted to sell and if she negotiated with a buyer.

There are a lot of things to consider for assessing how much a website is worth. Most of them are not public information: the revenue, the number of subscribers and registered users. Cellarer.com calculates the valuation by aggregating two metrics: PageRank and traffic. Eh! we have just done bulk site appraisal!

The choice of only these two metrics is based on a previous study that evaluated all possible metrics for website appraisal.


This methodology of PR + traffic is used to assess websites related to wine or food. Here is the directory of the best wine websites.

Follow up

You can follow the directory evolution by subscribing to the feed of website articles blog RSS or by subscribing to the mailing list of comments available below.

If you have a different view on website metrics, please share it by posting a comment.

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4 Responses to “Evaluation of sites”

  1. I see I made the list, not once but twice (both versions of the site)

    hope I get them to stay “visible” for a while anyway


  2. John Taylor says:

    I found your blog on Google. I’ve bookmarked it and will watch out for your next blog post.

  3. I found this very helpful. I have been learning the ropes on my own and taking advice wherever I can get it.

  4. [...] run a competition of wine websites based on methods derived from the study explained [...]