Web stats and Feminist Philosophy

Sometimes a page on Feminist Philosphers has raised some questions, leading me to google a topic.  That can lead to the slightly unnerving experience of finding that our page is one of the initial pages Google lists.  How Google decides what to list is determined by complex and heavily guarded algorithms.  Last week this all led to my trying to figure out what Google’s “PR” (page rank) is.  And then WordPress told us that we were getting people from the site Invesp Consulting, which had stats for ‘the top 25 philosophy blogs.’ 

"map of the internet"
"map of the internet"

As far as I can tell, web statistics are compiled with a view to determining the ‘strength and power’ of a site.  Here ‘strength and power’  refers to its commercial standing; does it sell its product or is it a good site for an ad?  Some of the ways of determining blog ranks are quite opaque.  For example, Google’s PR (page rank), just one factor in its decision about what  goes where in a response to a search,  is determined by an algorithm that is kept secret.

One consequence of this is that you’d expect the top philosophy blogs in such a ranking to be a very mixed bag.  But what you might not expect is to find a feminist philosophy blog figuring typically within the top six philosophy blogs, and often enough higher.  So I’m surprised that this very blog – FP itself – does. 

Jender and I discussed this a bit; I think it’s possible that some readers might find the facts useful.  For example, if your department colleagues think feminist philosophy can’t have much general appeal, you might point out the stats suggest otherwise.  And it’s interesting  that a feminist philosophy blog  is doing well in the stats, given how hard feminists find getting a voice in the profession is.

Do check this out at the link above, if you are interested.  There’s a pretty serious error on that  site; the click on The Splintered Mind takes you to some other blog.  For all I know, there are other errors, and if  you can see some in their figures, do let us know.