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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Law Prof Blog Rankings

In Are Scholars Better Bloggers?, 84 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1025 (2006), my introduction to our symposium on Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship, I measured the performance of our participants and their blogs under these metrics:

  • Citation Counts (p. 1029)
  • SSRN Download Counts (p. 1030)
  • Blog Traffic -- Visitors and Page Views (pp. 1031-32)

The following charts list the traffic statistics of the leading blogs edited by law professors.  After looking at various methods of ranking blogs -- those that focus on traffic (e.g., Compete), often generated through a particular search engine (e.g., Alexa, Justia), and those that focus on links (e.g., Google Page Rank, Technorati, Truth Laid Bare) -- I decided to use the actual traffic statistics of those Law Prof Blogs with publicly available SiteMeters.  Here are the Top 35 Law Prof Blogs by both visitors and page views for the most recent 12-month period (Feburary 2007 - January 2008):

Law Prof Blog Traffic Ranking -- Visitors (Feb. 2007 - Jan. 2008)

1.   InstaPundit 70,748,231
2.   Hugh Hewitt 13,392,343
3.   Volokh Conspiracy 8,647,368
4.   Althouse 4,429,672
5.   Leiter Reports: Philosophy 1,629,699
6.   Patently-O 1,532,860
7.   TaxProf Blog 1,358,016
8.   Balkinization 1,294,363
9.   Concurring Opinions 1,125,512
10. Sentencing Law & Policy 907,141
11. Professor Bainbridge.com 856,240
12. Jack Bog's Blog 776,272
13. Leiter's Law School Reports 726,005
14. PrawfsBlawg 639,468
15. Discourse.net 451,091
16. White Collar Crime Prof Blog 383,443
17. Conglomerate 378,787
18. Opinio Juris 323,519
19. Workplace Prof Blog 298,525
20. Is That Legal? 242,119
21. Chicago Faculty Blog 235,028
22. CrimProf Blog 211,119
23. Wills, Trusts & Est. Prof Blog 202,324
24. Ideoblog 186,511
25. ImmigrationProf Blog 181,055
26. ContractsProf Blog 167,861
27. Empirical Legal Studies 148,157
28. Election Law Blog 127,488
29. Religion Clause 122,352
30. Legal History Blog 109,834
31. Family Law Prof Blog 108,608
32. MoneyLaw 100,298
33. Sex Crimes 89,459
34. Legal Profession Blog 88,811
35. Madisonian Theory 78,821

Law Prof Blog Traffic Ranking -- Page Views (Feb. 2007 - Jan. 2008)

1.   InstaPundit 75,868,173
2.   Hugh Hewitt 16,604,852
3.   Volokh Conspiracy 12,403,944
4.   Althouse 8,062,853
5.   Patently-O 3,015,706
6.   Leiter Reports: Philosophy 2,706,134
7.   Jack Bog's Blog 1,974,956
8.   Balkinization 1,961,379
9.   TaxProf Blog 1,946,062
10. Concurring Opinions 1,751,358
11. Sentencing Law & Policy 1,666,960
12. Professor Bainbridge.com 1,209,228
13. PrawfsBlawg 1,079,328
14. Leiter's Law School Reports 1,057,960
15. Discourse.net 615,598
16. Conglomerate 569,339
17. Opinio Juris 557,642
18. White Collar Crime Prof Blog 512,520
19. Workplace Prof Blog 448,000
20. Chicago Faculty Blog 382,379
21. Is That Legal? 355,722
22. Wills, Trusts & Est. Prof Blog 298,280
23. ImmigrationProf Blog 270,566
24. Ideoblog 268,983
25. CrimProf Blog 246,824
26. Empirical Legal Studies 222,198
27. Election Law Blog 205,442
28. Religion Clause 188,766
29. Sex Crimes 163,491
30. ContractsProf Blog 160,461
31. Legal History Blog 158,708
32. Family Law Prof Blog 150,433
33. MoneyLaw 144,258
34. Legal Profession Blog 141,376
35. Truth on the Market 119,888

Some comments:

  • These Law Prof Blog Rankings are drawn from Dan Solove's comprehensive Law Professor Blogger Census. They include all blogs edited by law professors -- both law-related and non law-related.
  • Although I have tried to cull these Top 35 lists from the blogs that plausibly could generate enough traffic for inclusion, I may have inadvertently omitted qualifying blogs.  Please email me the names of any Law Prof Blogs with traffic over the past twelve months that would qualify for inclusion on the lists (78,821 visitors and/or 119,888 page views).  I will re-publish the lists to include all qualifying blogs.
  • Several popular Law Prof Blogs do not have publicly available SIteMeters and thus are not included on the lists:  e.g., BlackProf, California Appellate Reports, Credit Slips, The Deal Professor, Dorf on Law, Feminist Law Professors, Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Blog, Legal History, Legal Theory, Mirror of Justice, Point of Law, The Right Coast.
  • The lists include only those Law Prof Blogs that have been in operation for at least a year (and thus do not include popular blogs such as The Faculty Lounge, Leiter's Legal Philosophy Blog, M&A Law Prof Blog, and Race to the Bottom.
  • Several popular law blogs are not included on these lists because they are not edited by law professors:  e.g., Above the Law, How Appealing, Law Librarian Blog, Wall Street Journal Law Blog.
  • Two of the Top 10, five of the Top 20, and eleven of the Top 35 blogs are members of our Law Professor Blogs Network.

Update #1:  For blogosphere commentary on these rankings, see:

Update #2:  Since my original post, Legal History Blog has opened its SiteMeter to the public, and Mirror of Justice and Race to the Bottom have added a SiteMeter. Legal History Blog now makes the Top 30 list in both visitors and page views; Mirror of Justice and Race to the Bottom report that they too would have made the Top 30 lists using data tracked by another service.  In addition, I inadvertently omitted Patenly-O (#6 visitors, #5 page views) and Sex Crimes (#33, #29) in my prior listing.

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Comments

The list seems to be dominated by conservative and libertarian law blogs. Any thoughts on that observation?

Posted by: roger rainey | Feb 19, 2008 1:20:53 PM

Certain 2 conclusions leap to mind:

1. An over population of lawyers may result in the page view numbers. As a 'beta', i suggest cutting the legal community in half (exile or disconnecting their net access) and see how things shape up.

2. If the legal community was threatened by audit would it expose the historical research conducted at and billed with the reference line "Althouse" (purposeful pun)?

Posted by: hdhouse | Feb 19, 2008 3:06:12 PM

"list dominated by conservative and libertarian law blogs...."

You should hang out on Ann Althouse's blog. There are less than a handful of enlightened liberals there and we have to put up with things you can't believe...but to your point, the blogs are trying to reach numbers for power and clout (not to mention prestige and NYTimes op eds)and are purposefully skewed by topic ... lead down the path as it were....

Certainly society can't be made up of such a percentage of silly geese.

Posted by: hdhouse | Feb 19, 2008 3:10:05 PM

This is what happens when lawyers start reading blogs.

Posted by: newport driving school | Feb 19, 2009 11:50:03 AM