This list ranks the world’s top travel blogs on the basis of algorithmic authority. It attempts to include both the authority of the website and the authority of the social media accounts attached to the website.
As with all such lists, this is imperfect and only represents one way to look at the authority of a blog. Scroll down below the list to get a complete explanation of the metrics used, along with their strengths and weaknesses.
Overview of the Ranking Methodology
Figuring out the “top” travel blogs is an inherently flawed process. 20 people can look at it 20 different ways. I do not claim that this list is the be all and end all when it comes to this subject.
Why Authority? Other lists use traffic to rank sites. There is nothing wrong with that, but there are lots of ways to get traffic. Just publishing a lot of low-quality posts can build up overall traffic. Likewise, you could have an online forum which could inflate number, or you could just get a post that goes viral. Also, the only way to truly know traffic is to have voluntary participation with every single person on the list. It also doesn’t factor in social media, which is a big part of online authority today. It is a metric, but it has lots of flaws. Authority doesn’t tend to jump around a lot. Traffic can go up and down, but these metrics only have small fluctuations and take time to raise or lower.
Why These Three Metrics? To create a list like this, I needed metrics which were publically available, used a similar scale, but also measured different things. I felt that these three metrics while having some overlap, were all different yet measured important aspects of authority. Also, I am aware of the weaknesses of all the metrics, but they are weak in different ways, and I think they mostly cancel each other out when taken together.
Why Domain Authority? Moz’s Domain Authority has become a staple metric for the industry, so using it made sense. It is on a 100 point scale like the other metrics. Sites which have been around longer, with more links tend to score higher. While it is possible to game it, you can only game it so far as it is on a logarithmic scale. It captures both link quantity and quality.
Why Klout? Klout has been maligned over the years and for good reason. It is impossible to try and capture everything social in one number. Nonetheless, while it isn’t precise, it is relatively accurate in the broadest sense. You can’t really make a difference between someone with a 61 vs a 62, but there is a difference between a 60 and a 40. Moreover, the weaknesses of Klout are not the same as the weaknesses of the other metrics. Klout is also on a 100 point scale like the other metrics which makes it useful. While the average user has a higher Klout score than with the other 2 metrics, it also is trying to capture more, which I think makes up for that fact.
Why Trust Flow? Trust Flow is a metric from Majestic.com. It is probably the least well known of the three metrics I use, but it is also the most enlightening. It is a measure of the quality of links to a website. You will notice that the majority of websites only have a Trust Flow number in the teens or twenties, even though they have a Domain Authority much higher. This is because they don’t have many links beyond the blogosphere. A high Trust Flow number represents links from mainstream media outlets and other large websites, which is exactly the sort of authority which this list is trying to capture. (Note: I am using DOMAIN Trust Flow, not URL Trust Flow. They are different numbers.)
Why isn’t my site listed? This is the first iteration. Over time more sites will be listed. I started with sites on other top travel blog lists and sites with a Domain Authority over 40. There were also a few sites which didn’t have Klout scores. I kept them off the list rather than rank them with a zero. There were 3 sites with rather high domain authorities which didn’t have Klout scores which would have ranked high. If you would like your site listed, please contact me.
- Your site must be hosted under its own domain.
- A Klout profile can only be associated with one website.
- Sites must be owned by the content creator(s). Corporate own sites are not included.
What are the weaknesses of this list? Each of the individual metrics has weaknesses which are well known. This list also only captures algorithmic authority and not real world authority. People like Lee Abbamonte, Keith Jenkins, and Shannon O’Donnell who do public speaking and media appearances do not have that authority reflected in this list. It should not be taken as any more than it is.
Does the list have a bias? Yes. It tends to be biased towards sites which have been around a while. I have no problem with this bias as time and experience are important parts of what constitutes authority. The longer you’ve been around, the more likely to get high-quality links and build a social media following.
What are the strengths of this list? It is hard to game all three of these metrics. The sites near the top of the list have been around for the better part of a decade. I don’t see how someone could jump into the top 10 after blogging for a year unless they were a celebrity when they started.
How often will this list be updated? Periodically. A least once a quarter, but possibly more. Domain Authority can be updated every few weeks. Trust Flow can change daily. This data on the list should only be considered a snapshot and not live data.