Trying to make sense of what happened on the blog over the past 12 months is like trying to understand the concept of gravity before Issac Newton. You know there’s a reason why things don’t fall up, but you’re damned if you know what it is.
Nothing happened between November 2012 and November 2013 that has ever happened in the blog’s six-year history. The current $10 Hall of Fame was not the most popular post. Old wine reviews, some from two and three years ago, were more popular than more recent posts. The top 10, usually a mix of Halls of Fame, posts like The six things you probably don’t know about wine, and a review or two, was dominated by Barefoot, Cupcake, the new $10 pinot noirs, and sweet red wine.
What this means — or at least my guess at what it means, since it is unprecedented — and the top 10 posts from the last year are after the jump:Some of what happened may have something to do with moving the website to a more efficient platform and updating its look this fall, as well as changes in Internet search algorithms over the last seven months. This may have given the older posts a boost.
But what is almost certain is that the blog has broken away from its wine drinker base and is now reaching people who drink wine, which are two different things. Wine drinkers aren’t interested in brands like Barefoot and Cupcake or sweet red wine; they already know they don’t want to drink that stuff. They’re the 25 percent in the famous “25 percent of the U.S. population drinks 93 percent of all wine” statistic, as measured by the Wine Market Council. People who drink wine, on the other hand, are the other 75 percent. They want to know about Barefoot and Cupcake and sweet red because they don’t drink wine frequently enough to know they aren’t supposed to drink those things.
This is terrific news, since one of my goals over the past couple of years has been to reach that group. If I’m finally doing it, I’m bringing wine to people who are confused or unsure or befuddled by it and desperate for advice they understand. That would bring a smile to even my curmudgeonly face.
The 2013 top 10 posts:
The 2012 Barefoot wine review, the best a Barefoot review — any review, in fact — has ever done. What’s odd about this beating the 2013 Barefoot review, which was No. 66, is that there is a huge link in the middle of the 2012 post for the 2013 review. Maybe someone who understands these things can explain why someone will search for a Barefoot review and then not want to read the most recent one.
The 2012 $10 Hall of Fame. That it beat the 2013 Hall of Fame was almost certainly a function of the website and algorithm changes.
The 2013 $10 Hall of Fame. Not quite sure why this is so far down the list; maybe because of the popularity of the Barefoot and Cupcake posts?
The 2010 Barefoot wine review. This demonstrates the power of Google search, and that once a post gets a favorable rating, it shows up and shows up and shows up. This post was second in 2011 and sixth in 2012.
The $10 pinot noir post. This surprised me, given that it didn’t run until August of this year. But it speaks to the popularity of both cheap wine and cheap pinot noir — in case anyone in the wine business is paying attention.
The six things post, which has been in the top 10 every year that it has been on the blog.
The wine buying guide, another top 10 fixture, but which dropped from No. 4 last year.