Published Jan 10. 2006 - 10 years ago
Scores of unknown sites top charts
Sometimes I do a little surfing in order to keep myself updated on what's happening regarding fly fishing on the web. I usually don't surf at random very much. My time on the web is spent doing research and looking for facts related to my paid work. When I do fly fishing stuff on the Internet, I prefer spending time on this site, creating new material. Never the less I sometimes find myself clicking around and seeing new sites. It often happens because I'm checking referrals to GFF--looking at the sites, which have links to our sites. Doing exactly that I stumbled on a strange phenomenon today. I have seen it before, but one particular site pointed my attention in that direction again: Topnnn sites listings. There are a vast number of these types of link pages out there and quite a surprisning number that deal with fishing. The idea behind these sites seems to be to count clicks on links and then organizing all the links in order after number of clicks. The listed sites can then become "Saltwater angling Top100, ranked 5" or "*5* on Fly Fishing 100" or whatever. That sounds like an excellent idea. We all love charts, and lists like these can lead the visitors to some excellent sites. The sites, which get listed, obviously get the right to add a small banner to their pages stating their rank and linking to the site with the chart. Some sites have gathered a bucketful of these little animated banners and have a whole bunch of them on their pages. But when I followed some of the banners to the lists, I realized that there was something wrong. First of all the lists almost exclusively contained sites that I never heard of. Now, I know that I don't know all the sites out there, but having been at this game for quite a long time, I do know quite a few, which should be counted amongst the top 100 or so within fly fishing. None of these sites were in any of he lists. I did stumble over Byard Miller's Virtual Flybox, but I think that was the only site that I found, which I knew already. And of course GFF wasn't on any of the lists. Not that I miss the placement, but finding Spanish tuna fish sites, Aussie guide businesses and obscure little discussion boards in top ten, while there was no Fly Anglers Online, Fly Fisherman, Reel-Time or SexyLoops in any of the lists seemed strange. As far as I can see the lists are nothing but collections of links, which connect sites and generate clicks which advertizers can pay for. There might be some people who find these link collections useful, but basically they seem worthless. The general idea also seems to be that you submit your site yourself, and since most of the lists contain pretty lame sites, you will soon rise to stardom in their top 100. And of course the lists are 100% automatically generated, so no humans ever touch the system, comment on the placements or add arguments to why a site is #1 in "Ultimate 100 bass sites". I sure wish that people would spend more time creating content and less time on linking. That has always been the policy of GFF and will continue to be so. We probably don't appear in a single one of these many lists. At least we never submitted our site to them. But still I would guess that we rank amongst the top 100 sites (in all modesty) when it comes to fly fishing on the web. This past Saturday we passed 12,000 individual visitors in one day, so somebody out there must like us.