|Charlie Bonkers, a capital cat|
"My name is Anuj Agarwal. I'm Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Bonkers about Perfume has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 50 Perfume Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 50 Perfume Blogs on the internet and I'm honored to have you as part of this.
Also, you have the honor of displaying the following badge on your blog. Use the below code to display the badge proudly on your blog."
He inserted a link to the Feedspot site in the body of the email - you can find it here.
Well, there was much to puzzle over in this email, even before I studied the list in more detail. Does he really only have one panelist compiling these rankings? Isn't three a minimum quorum of judges in these sorts of things? And isn't a "comprehensive list of Top 50" anything a contradiction in terms? To my mind, the word 'comprehensive' inherently suggests all-inclusion, rather than a subset of something.
|Tree top Truffle|
But hey, these are minor hair-splitting points compared to what I went on to find on checking out the list. I appeared at # 41, which is perhaps surprising given my near total disregard for all matters SEO-related, but as you will see I wonder if I should even have been in the Top 50 at all...
The first thing that struck me about the list was that although many of the big behemoths of perfume blogging - old and new - were present and correct, and highly ranked as I would expect: Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, Cafleurebon,The Candy Perfume Boy, The Scented Salamander, Perfume Posse etc, there were a number of key blogs missing, while a whole slew of 'other entities' had been included, which are not what I would call blogs as such.
For starters there was Reddit, which I understand to be another social content aggregator site just like the one this chap is seeking to compile!
Then there were various retail chains that came pretty high up the list, such as The Perfume Shop, and Perfume.com and Perfume Click. On closer inspection, it turns out that their websites do in fact have a blog attached, but more in the way a motorcycle might have a sidecar, or I might wear an earring. I can't believe the retailers' blogs have all that traffic in their own right, though I can well believe that the sites overall do, as they are online shops! But I could be wrong - because I am judging things only from the perspective of the perfume blogosphere as I know it, not ALL internet writing on perfume.
|Pillar puss surveying the blown over fence|
Then Basenotes was in there, which is not a standalone blog either, but it IS an absolute core perfume website in our world. But in that case where oh where was Fragrantica??!! Or Osmoz, on which I cut my fragrance family teeth back in the day, if we are going to get a bit fluid with our categories.
And the anomalies kept coming. There was a site featured called The Perfume Expert which may well be huge, though I had never heard of it, and which also covered makeup. Which is fair enough, but if we are including make up, surely The Non-Blonde should be in there too? And Get Lippie, who will shortly be on our TV screens!
Kafkaesque was on the list, though she has been on hiatus since the end of last year. So if dormant blogs can be included, why not the gigantically rich archive that is Olfactoria's Travels? And where is Katie Puckrik Smells and Grain de Musc!?!?!
And there were also a number of perfume houses in there, such as Eurofragrance, Tijon Fragrance Lab & Boutique, and All Good Scents (an Indian brand). I may be remiss for not having heard of all of them. Though good old Andy Tauer also featured at #16: he is one of a number of perfumers like Roxana Illuminated Perfume (ranked #25) and Ayala Moriel with her Smellyblog (ranked #28), whose blogs are very much a key feature of their overall online presence.
Oh, and I spied an entry for a product called FragranceLock, a 'perfume setting spray' of all improbable things:
"...a new fragrance finishing spray that gives your fragrance longer lasting staying power, leaves a breathable mesh on the skin decelerating fragrance's natural evaporation cycle making fragrance last longer".
And that came in one notch after Undina's Looking Glass, and ahead of Perfume Shrine. Eh??
|More tops of fixtures to conquer|
And if we are going to be modern about all this, why not include the video blogs? - Katie Puckrik's YouTube channel and the new vlogs on the block, We Love to Smell and Fume Chat, being clear contenders for inclusion.
So of course me being me, I had to write to Anuj and point out to him a) that some of these sites were not blogs per se, b) that there were all sorts of notable omissions and c) that I post once a week, not once a month(!). I am not overly bothered if that affected my ranking or not, but if I see a mistake I have to correct it, obviously. ;)
And given my conviction that some at least of the missing blogs would have made it into the Top 50 - especially if Feedspot ditched some of the shops and 'other entities' - I asked how many Anuj had come up with in total. I haven't done the exercise, but have a hunch that if you were to take the combined blog rolls of a dozen perfume bloggers or so - even selected at random - you would probably generate another 30+ names, who could at least be put through the screening process to see if they might have made the cut.
"Overall we found Top 50 Perfume blog."
So there you have it. It's not the Top 50 Perfume Blogs, but all the perfume blogs he found...
Moving on to how the blogs are ranked, the criteria are stated as follows:
- Google reputation and Google search ranking
- Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites
- Quality and consistency of posts
- Feedspot's editorial team and expert review
|'And while I am on the wardrobe, here's another thing...!'|
So there are SEO factors that are more tangible, if you will - though I believe even Alexa rankings are based on estimates where blogs don't have the toolbar installed?- but of particular interest to me were the last two criteria. I wondered who the Feedspot editorial team are exactly. Maybe Anuj has a particular interest in perfume. Certainly Feedspot are not perfume specialists. You will find lists of the Best Bag blogs, the Best Recycling blogs, Lupus blogs, Lyme Disease blogs, Melanoma blogs, Divorce blogs, Feng Shui blogs and many, many more.
And I may have had a bit of influence on the list as well, for if my memory is not playing tricks, Feedspot seem to have quietly amended their title to "The top 50 Perfume Websites and Blogs", whereas I am sure it was originally just "blogs". Hence why I went off on one to them! ;)
And if you leave aside my quibbles about the rights and wrongs of the rankings, it may well be dead handy for readers to use these consolidated 'RSS reader sites' as a way of accessing their favourite blogs. I would be interested to know if that is so, or how you follow / read the blogs you like.
|Here's the badge I have not added|
Meanwhile, I have no plans to display the badge, mind, proudly or otherwise. Also because I don't take kindly to being 'badge-ered' to do things.
I emailed regarding your blog Bonkers about Perfume which was selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 50 Perfume Blogs on the web.
Can you help us spread the word by adding the badge on your blog.
If you can briefly mentioned about the Top 50 Perfume Blogs list in any of your upcoming post, we would greatly appreciate it."
Well, I did do that!