September 27, 2012

The Blogspot 100 - Top Blogger Sites of 2012

As a dedicated Blogger enthusiast, I'm very interested to learn more about the sites hosted on Google's free blogging platform.

So I decided to find out which popular sites are powered by Blogger to build upon the list curated in 2008 in order to find the most popular Blogspot sites (including those which use custom domains).

After gathering a huge amount of links to sites hosted on Blogger (whittled down to 350 for the final analysis) I set about scoring and ranking each site according to the following criteria:
  • Pagerank
  • Inbound links
  • Alexa Rank
  • Facebook shares
  • Twitter Mentions
  • Google+1s
  • Google Reader feed subscribers
With the exception of Pagerank, these sites were scored in relation to each other, with each element scored on a scale of 1-350. Data for these rankings were gathered between July and August 2012.

Alexa ranking was scored first as this value is unique to each website. In instances where sites had an equal value to another, scoring would secondly depend on this Alexa score in order to give each site a unique score.

Pagerank for each site was allocated as Pagerank*10, where 0 is the lowest score and 100 (PR10) was potentially the highest.

The total possible score for each website is therefore on a scale of 6-2200.

In order of total score, here are the most popular Blogger powered sites for 2012:

1. Postsecret 

Score: 2131
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. It began as an experiment on January 1st 2005, and has gained a worldwide following through the weekly updated website, book releases and exhibition tour.

2. Hyperbole and a Half

Score: 2092
Hyperbole and a Half is a combination of web-comic and blog, maintained by Allie Brosh. Through intentionally crude images drawn in Paintbrush, Ms. Brosh retells stories from her life and childhood, and was named as one of PC World's Funniest Sites on the Web.

From Hyperbole and a Half

3. Twitter Blog

Score: 2092
The official blog of one of the world's most frequented sites (ranking 8 with Alexa). Yes, it's powered by Blogger =)

4. A Cup of Joe 

Score: 2031
The personal site of Joanna Goddard, who has also blogged for Glamour Magazine and Conde Nast.

5. Ikea Hacker

Score: 2003
A community-gathered site about the modification and repurposing of Ikea products.

6. Advanced Style

Score: 1965
A fashion-photography blog featuring "the most stylish and creative older folks" from the streets of New York.

7. Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Score: 1958
Daily commentary on global economics by Mike Sherlock with a huge reader following.

8. Tavi Gevinson's Blog

Score: 1954
An awesome (mostly) photography blog maintained by Tavie Gevinson, the sixteen year old founder of Rookie, a website for teenage girls. Tavie takes photographs of herself using a self-timer, wearing wonderful outfits which she picks up from thrift stores.

9. Skinny Taste

Score: 1952
Also known as Gina's Skinny Tastes, this website offers low-calorie recipes "from my family to yours" and has a great following among those watching their weight.

10. Face Hunter

Score: 1935
A photoblog by "a man out and about in london and beyond: eye candy for the style hungry".

11. Blogger Buzz

Score: 1890
Blogger's official blog, presenting news and updates for those using the platform.

12. Free Technology for Teachers

Score: 1889
Written by Richard Byrne, this site offers free resources and lesson plans for teaching with technology.

13. Calculated Risk

Score: 1887
Nominated as one of The Times' 25 best financial blogs, Calculated Risk is a highly popular Economics blog, curated by Bill McBride.

14. Bike Snob NYC

Score: 1886
"Systematically and mercilessly disassembling, flushing, greasing and repacking the cycling culture."

15. Greg Mankiw

Score: 1856
Mankiw is a Professor at Harvard University and presents his "random observation"s for students of economics on his blog.

16. How About Orange

Score: 1855
How About Orange features craft project how-tos, decorating ideas, printable downloads, useful design resources, and lots of inspiration for people who like to create things.

How about Orange?

17. A Year of Slow Cooking

Score: 1844
A site which started as a New Year resolution to use a slow cooker each day of 2008.


Score: 1842
Architectural conjecture, urban speculation nd landscape futures

19. Poppytalk

Score: 1835
A Canadian design blog dedicated to supporting the beautiful, the decayed and the handmade.

20. BibliOdyssey

Score: 1817
Eclectic historic science and art images from rare books and prints.

21. Google Operating System

Score: 1798
Unofficial news and tips about Google. A blog that watches Google's latest developments and the attempts to move your operating system online.

22. Food Wishes

Score: 1797
Watch, listen, learn, and enjoy! Hundreds of free, original video recipes, done by Chef John Mitzewich.

23. Newbie's Guide to Publishing

Score: 1795
Is it possible to make a living as a genre fiction writer? Yes it is.

24. The Blog of Unnescessary Quotation Marks

Score: 1791
"Misinterpreting bad punctuation since 2005".

25. Gluten Free Goddess

Score: 1787
Gluten-Free Goddess Karina serves up fresh, creative recipes with juicy photographs. And a side of life

26. The Graphics Fairy

Score: 1780
Free vintage and Victorian clip-art - a great resource for crafters and designers

27. Dark Roasted Blend

Score: 1761
One of the favorite destinations on the web for all things weird and wonderful, updated daily. In-depth articles in many fascinating categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine.
Dark Roasted Blend - a Thrilling Wonder Publication!

28. Cat vs Human

Score: 1756
Cute witty comic strips about a cat and it's owner, curated by Yasmine Surovec.

29. Cupcakes Take the Cake

Score: 1754
Everything you wanted to know about cupcakes from true cupcake fans, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Nichelle Stephens and Stacie Joy.

30. I Heart Organising

Score: 1741
Tips on home and lifestyle organisation combined with style. Find also DIY and home improvement projects to help you maintain an organised system.

31. Closet Cooking

Score: 1733
A truly mouthwatering site through which Kevin Lynch chronicles his adventures in discovering new food tastes.

32. Color Me Katie

Score: 1698
The personal blog of 24 year old freelance photographer, actress, and street artist , Katie Sokoler.
Color Me Katie is choc ful of colourful goodness!

33. Orangette

Score: 1698
A food and lifestyle blog with beautiful photography by Molly Wizenberg.

34. Superpunch

Score: 1685
Arguably the best collection of lowbrow art in the world, curated by John Struan.

35. Joe. My. God.

Score: 1681
A long runner among gay blogs, JMG features news, culture and politics in a candid and distinctive voice. Now in its ninth year!

Score: 1675
Personal website of clothes designer, Keiko Lynn, featuring some beautiful fashion photography.

37. Fogonazos

Score: 1673
The personal blog of journalist Antonio Martinez Ron (in Spanish)

38. My New Roots

Score: 1667
Curated by holistic nutritionist, Sarah Britton, My New Roots is an award-winning food blog which has become known "not only for its one-of-a-kind recipes, but also for its amazing nutritional information and mouth-watering photography".

39. Made By Girl

Score: 1661
The blog of Jen Amos of Made by Girl paper goods, featuring photography, art and inspiration.

40. The Rude Pundit

Score: 1657
Liberal politics, interviews, and Stephanie Miller appearances, all done rudely.

41. Budget Bytes

Score: 1650
Budget Bytes is "a web log of good food cooked with very little cash", featuring nutritious low-cost recipes and even costs per serving!

42. America Blog

Score: 1640
A journal of news and opinion about US politics, both domestic and foreign, from a progressive point of view.

43. Dumb Little Man

Score: 1639
A popular productivity blog featuring posts to save time, money, "or simply keep you sane".

44. Print and Pattern

Score: 1634
A British-based website which celebrates the art of printed surface patterns.

45. ConceptShips

Score: 1631
Amazing concept spaceship art from film, TV, videogame and personal sources. Stunning site, truly worth a look!
Concept Ships - Epic Spaceship Art

46. Books of Adam

Score: 1616
Personal stories told through hilarious comic strips by Adam Ellis.

47. Le Fashion Image

Score: 1612
Features beautiful images and fashion photography.

48. My Milk Toof

Score: 1608
An unusual photoblog documenting the adventures of "milk teeth" ickle and Lardie.

49. Habitually Chic

Score: 1604
Musings on art, architecture, design, fashion, photography, books, events, and everything else habitually chic!

50. Olsens Anonymous

Score: 1603
Commentary and photography on the fashions worn by the Olsen sisters, by a self-confessed addict.

51. October's Very Own

Sore: 1297
The official website of the group founded by the artist, Drake.

52. Avery's Bucket List

Score: 1596
This blog is now maintained in memory of Avery Lynn Canahuati in order to raise awareness of the genetic disease, SMA. Her story is incredibly touching, and through this site Avery's family hope to raise funds for Dr. Kaspar's SMA Gene Therapy programme to help find a cure for her friends.

53. Monster Brains

Score: 1596
"A never ending celebration of monsters", this blog publishes unique imagery of fantasy worlds and strange creatures, designed by both the author and other interesting artists.

54. Le Love

Score: 1587
Le Love is a collection of reader-submitted posts dedicated to love: the good, the bad and the unknown. Featuring beautiful photography and touching prose, this site is curated by the author of Le Fashion and Olsens Anonymous.

55. Paris vs. NYC

Score: 1574
A friendly visual match between two cities told by a lover of Paris wandering through NewYork featuring stylish infographics (also available as posters) and posts in both French and English.

56. Thrifty Decor Chick

Score: 1572
Sarah shares her knowledge of simple, inexpensive ways to decorate your home, using thrift store purchases and high-street finds.

57. Bent Objects

Score: 1565
A photoblog featuring bent object sculptures and photo scenes of inanimate objects brought to life with witty captions by Terry Border.

58. Guess Her Muff

Score: 1552
Warning: this blog includes adult content!
This site was a bit of a wild card. I honestly hadn't expected a site featuring such adult themes to rank so highly in the list of Blogger sites, though it has a high number of social media shares and an excellent Alexa rank. I won't go into detail about the content as the title is pretty self-explanatory. For those who would like to click through, there is a content warning before clicking through to the site, and no explicit images on the home page.

Score: 1551
Sandra, a student at the London College of Fashion, posts gorgeous photographs of herself wearing the latest trends, and always high heels!

60. A Daily Dose of Architecture

Score: 1549
Updated almost daily, John Hill posts inspiring architectural photography and musings from New York City.

61. KnightCat

Score: 1546
Another beautiful fashion photography blog, maintained by Cat Khan.

62. Mila's Daydreams

Score: 1539
"This is my maternity leave hobby. While my baby is taking her nap, I try to imagine her dream and capture it." Truly, this site is well worth a look for the beautiful pictures of sleeping babies which has inspired a bug and a great fan following!

63. Google Maps Mania

Score: 1539
An unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps. It's easy to get lost wandering through the inspiring and interesting maps and applications featured on this site!

64. The Firmware Umbrella

Score: 1538
Making local iPhone OS restores possible... 

65. If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats

Score: 1538
An ongoing series of personal and cultural observations, featuring wonderful historic images and posters, which have inspired many Facebook shares and inbound links.

66. Writer Beware

Score: 1538
A publishing industry watchdog group which shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls. Also features industry news, writing advice and "a special focus on the wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world."

67. Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Score: 1534
Provides updated forecasts and comments on the current weather and related topics.

68. Sexy People

Score: 1525
Don't be fooled by the title of this site! Sexy People offers a collection of user-submitted photographic portraits from past and present which makes for interesting browsing.

69. John K Stuff

Score: 1524
John Kricfalusi, famed for the Ren and Stimpy cartoon, discusses cartoons and the animation industry. 

70. NieNie Dialogues

Score: 1520
Having survived a near fatal airplane crash with 80% burns, Stephanie Nielson cherishes life and writes about her family's adventures on NieNie Dialogues.

71. Alice's Bucket List

Score: 1519
Alice Pyne is a brave 16 year old girl with terminal cancer who is living her life to the full. This blog features updates from her daily life, the work of her charity and - of course - details of her "bucket list".

72. By Ken Levine

Score: 1517
Named one of the best 25 blogs in 2011 by Time Magazine, this is the site of Emmy Award-winning writer/director/major league baseball announcer, Ken Levine, who is famed for his involvement in TV series Cheers, Mash, The Simpsons and many others.

73. Carpe Diem

Score: 1517
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance.

74. 500 Photographers

Score: 1516
500 Photographers aims to become an archive of amazing photographers and their work from the 21st century. Photography fans will find that browsing through the archives is a visual and cultural treat.

75. Tomboy Style

Score: 1511
A photography blog dedicated to images of "Tomboys", a celebration of confidence, rebelliousness and adventure: "To define a tomboy requires searching beyond the simple notion of wearing boy's clothing". 

76. Things we Forget

Score: 1502
Featuring a collection of post-it notes left in public places, Things we Forget offers wit, humour and lessons in life.

77. Vanessa Jackman

Score: 1494
The photoblog of former lawyer, Vanessa Jackman, who is "totally in love" with her Nikon camera and the subjects she captures with it.

78. Kandee Johnson

Score: 1486
The lifestyle blog of Kandee Johnson, featuring beauty, fashion, hair, DIY/crafts, and a whole lot of inspiration. 

79. Althouse

Score: 1484
The personal blog of Ann Althouse, a professor at The University of Wisonsin Law School, who often writes about law amidst her more personal contributions.

80. Don Kenn Gallery

Score: 1482
A writer and director of television shows for kids, John Kenn likes to spend his spare time creating "monsterdrawings" on post-it notes, which have spawned a book (and reprint) as well as a huge following.

81. The Innovative Educator

Score: 1482
Sharing ideas about the future of education, this blog offers insights into the role of technology in education, the benefits of homeschooling and much more.

82. Whispers in the Loggia

Score: 1480
One of global Catholicism's most prominent chroniclers, Rocco Palmo has held court as the "Church Whisperer" since 2004, when Whispers in the Loggia was launched with an audience of three. Since then, the site has grown by nothing but word of mouth, and has been kept alive throughout solely by means of reader support.

83. The Daybook

Score: 1463
A blog about real life, personal style and "stuff that's kinda funny sometimes". This site features a gorgeous design and colourful photography.

84. The Dainty Squid

Score: 1450
This is the personal blog of Kaylah, a thrifting queen, amateur mycologist and lover of cats, where she posts about film, personal style and nature. With plenty of cats!

85. Mattias Inks

Score: 1449
Mattias Adolfsson is a freelance illustrator who has worked with many mediums from computer games to children's books. On Matia Inks he posts many of his hand-drawn illustrations and offers an insight into the life of an illustrator.

86. Where Did U Get That

Score: 1446
Karen is a fashion blogger from London who now lives in New York. After being asked "where did you get that" so many times in response to her wardrobe choices, she decided to create a log to answer that question.

87. If It's Hip It's Here

Score: 1442
Keeping you up to date with the latest and greatest art, style and design from all over the globe. 

88. Oh Hello Friend

Score: 1442
Danni Hong is a designer who posts visual stimulation and inspiration in a beautifully presented site. 

89. Hullaballoo

Score: 1437
A liberal politics blog whose founder has been called one of the "leading and most admired commentators" of the progressive blogosphere (link). Oddly,Hullaballoo does not produce a feed, so no subscriber count was included for it's score, indicating it would have ranked incredibly highly if a subscriber base was present.

90. Blogger Plugins

Score: 1436
Blogger Plugins features tutorial, gadgets and layout for those using Blogger to publish their sites and scored incredibly highly for Alexa ranking making it the most popular Blogspot resource site (and with good reason!).

91. Strobist

Score: 1430
"This website is about one thing: Learning how to use off-camera flash with your DSLR to take your photos to the next level. Or the next ten levels." Probably the web's most popular site about flash photography.

92. Carscoop

Score: 1428
It's difficult to believe that Carscoop is a Blogger powered site! Incredibly well designed, this site covers the latest news in the world of auto-mobiles and is among the top 5 trafficked sites in this list.

93. Spoiler TV

Score: 1427
Spoiler TV offers a comprehensive and up-to-date spoiler service of all the latest US TV shows and movies. It has developed an extensive community, and often posts exclusive spoilers making it a first-stop for fans of the latest programmes.

94. Xiaxue

Score: 1422
Xiaxue is the personal blog of Wendy Cheng Yan Yan who posts about her adventures in life with loads of photography and videos. Based in Singapore, Wendy is famed for her striking appearance and has amassed a massive fan base since starting the site in 2003.

95. Grosgrain

Score: 1410
Maintained by Kathleen Frances, Grosgrain is "A blog by an artsy craftsy, penny pinching, party planning, playdating, fashion finding, sci-fi loving, stay at home mother of three little girls *and one little boy who always keeps her sewing machine plugged in and loves all things charming"

96. Sleep Talkin' Man

Score: 1410
This hilarious blog documents the night ramblings of a sleep-talking husband (as heart by his wife). After the couple found their blog in the front page of Reddit in 2010, the site has generated a huge following and now serves to entertain people from all over the world.

97. Mod Podge Rocks

Score: 1410
Dedicated to creative uses of Mod Podge, this craft site features hundreds of decoupage projects with clear instructions and often accompanying videos by crafty mum, Amy Anderson.

98. Homotography

Score: 1407
Homotography presents a beautifully curated collection of male-subject photography. This site features "homoerotic sensuality", therefore some of the images are not suitable for children (though all are tastefully presented and there is no nudity). 

99. The Clothes Horse

Score: 1402
The Clothes Horse is an artistic personal style blog that features my daily outfits as well as magazine editorials, movie reviews, illustrations, and other various visually inspiring things.

100. Morbid Anatomy

Score: 1401
Not for the faint-hearted, Morbid Anatomy explores the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture, with excellent photography and commentary.

Deliberate Exclusions from this list

When analysing data for sites to be included in the Blogspot Top 100, I deliberately excluded all official Google blogs. Of course, almost all official Google blogs would have ranked in the top 100 (probably in the top 50!), but since there are so many including them would have meant a great number of independent sites would not have featured in this list and I hoped to provide an unbiased analysis.

Detailed Analyses

If you would like to take a look at the spreadsheets for a more detailed analysis of the rankings used for the Blogspot Top 100, feel free to check out the links below:

General thoughts about the Blogspot Top 100

Most of the top ten ranking sites in this list are established, well-known blogs which have been popular for years. For me, Hyperbole and a Half was a surprise newcomer as I wasn't already familiar with the site, though after reading through a few posts it was easy to see why it's popularity had amassed.

A great many of the sites featured in the Blogspot Top 100 are photography/fashion sites which to be honest I wasn't expecting. After my initial research in 2008 I'd assumed the majority of sites would be technology-related or political sites. 

The inclusion of Guess her Muff in the top 100 was a big surprise, particularly as this adult site is guarded by an adult content portal. 

Blogger Buster did not feature in the top 100 at the time of writing (in case you were wondering, I didn't deliberately exclude my own sites from the list of sites I ranked!), and several others from my 2008 analysis which I'd assumed would feature have now dropped from the top 100. Sadly several other sites have changed host since this time and were no longer eligible to be featured in the list.

Did I miss any important sites?

When gathering sites and data to rank the top 100 Blogger-hosted sites, I did my best to find as many sites as possible for inclusion, and asked for recommendations through as many channels as I was able. Since many Blogger authors choose to use a custom domain for their sites, it is certainly possible that I may have missed some highly popular sites (particularly international ones!) so please feel free to drop me a line in the comments if you feel a site should have been included in this list.

What do you think?

I hope you have enjoyed reading through this list of the Top 100 Blogger powered sites, it certainly was pleasurable and interesting to curate!

Please feel free to leave your comments, opinions and suggestions for sites I could include in the next analysis in the comments section below.

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