This list ranks the world’s top travel blogs on the basis of algorithmic authority. It attempts to measure the authority of the website based on several popular SEO metrics.
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.
If you have a blog and would like it listed, please leave a comment with the URL of your travel blog.
If you don’t have a travel blog yet, read this guide for how to start a travel blog.
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. 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 and used a similar scale. I felt that these three metrics while having some overlap, were all different yet measured important aspects of website 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 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 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 Domain Rating? The third metric is Domain Rating from ahrefs.com. Like the other metrics, they use their proprietary database of links and website to calculate an overall profile for each domain based on the quantity and quality of backlinks.
Why isn’t my site listed? Ask. Just leave a comment below and if it meets the rules I will add it.
- Your site must have travel as its main focus. If you primarily write about food, fashion, or something else, with a small travel section, it will not be listed.
- Your site must be hosted under its own domain. For example, Blogspot, Blogger, or WordPress.com sites can’t be listed.
- 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 of the website and no other real-world authority. If you appear on TV, have a popular YouTube channel, podcast or Instagram account, that will not be reflected on this list.
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. I have recently added domain age to the list. This is taken from the date the domain was first registered. For non .com domains for which this information isn’t available, I took the first day it appeared in Internet Wayback Machine at archive.org. In the rare event, it is a brand new site which isn’t listed in the Internet Wayback Machine AND it isn’t a .com domain, I set 30-days before it was added to the list as the creation date.
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. The youngest sites near the top of the list have been around for at least 5-years.
How often will this list be updated? Periodically. A least once a quarter, but possibly more. All three of these companies have gotten better at updating their database and their metrics. That being said, you usually don’t see large swings in any of these numbers, so there is little need to constantly be updating.
What is SATW/BGTW? A checkbox indicates that the blogger is a member of SATW or the British Guild of Travel Writers.