Which Sites are Really the Top?

The IFB Top 1000. Sluice Box Gold Top­sites. Bible Believ­ing Inde­pen­dent Bap­tist Top 1000 Sites. Fun­da­men­tal Top 500. Fun­da­men­tal Chris­t­ian Top­sites. Home­school Top 500. KJV Fun­da­men­tal Chris­t­ian Links.

These are the top sites I know of right now… But is it real­ly worth sign­ing up to all of them and hav­ing their var­i­ous images clut­ter­ing up your web­page? I per­son­al­ly only use one, and I still find that image to be an eye-sore. And think­ing back over sev­er­al months of check­ing my stats, I can’t recall see­ing but a few refer­als from them, and back when I was con­cerned about my rank­ing, I man­aged to stay with­in the top 30. 
But what does that mean? Sur­pris­ing­ly lit­tle, aside from the ego-stroking it pro­vides. But who cares if you’re #8 on the Fun­da­men­tal Chris­t­ian Top­sites if I’m #5 on the Fun­da­men­tal Top 500. Seri­ous­ly. Who cares.

And how do we know which top sites index is most defin­i­tive? Is there a top sites list of all the Chris­t­ian top sites out there? Would the top one on there be the best? And we bet­ter not reg­is­ter at just one. Think of all the traf­fic we’ll miss if we’re only reg­is­tered on the Inde­pen­dent Bap­tist KJV-only Old-Fash­ioned Top 1000 and not the Inde­pen­dent Bap­tist Leather-bound KJV-only Old-Fash­ioned Top 1000. God for­bid we miss out on those vis­i­tors too!
Per­haps it has some­thing to do with exclu­siv­i­ty. Isn’t it great to see your web­site ranked along­side those of oth­ers who believe sim­i­lar­ly? Isn’t it nice hav­ing a big col­lec­tion of web­sites which say the same thing as yours does but with dif­fer­ent Mom-of‑9 Chris­t­ian graph­ics? “Strength in num­bers” is great. That’s why I tried my hand at a top sites list a while back, which is now defunct. It was a waste of time and band­width. Want to pro­mote your site? Great! Get ranked high on Google. Get real web­sites to link to you. Make your web­site so good that peo­ple are word-of-mouth adver­tis­ing for you, for free!

Yet there are count­less web­sites out there with count­less web rings, top sites images, and so on tak­ing more time to down­load than does the actu­al content.

I’m close to drop­ping the one top site I still use on my pages; every time I think of it, it’s a mat­ter of “I won­der how they are rank­ing me today.” What I do online I don’t do out of pride*, but I can see no oth­er rea­son for hav­ing top sites than to cater to it. After all, I can’t claim it’s because of all the vis­its they bring in. Search engines, how­ev­er… Hun­dreds of vis­its, new ones every­day, every hour even.

* I real­ize I have a “Van­i­ty” sec­tion in my side­bar for Ecosys­tem and Blogs of the Day rank­ing; these allow me to quick­ly gauge the qual­i­ty of what I’ve been writ­ing, as well as pro­vid­ing quick access to (on the Ecosys­tem) a list of who is link­ing to me, which helps me to deter­mine my audi­ence. These ben­e­fits are notice­ably lack­ing in your stan­dard top­sites list (which are spring­ing up ever more often as iTop­Sites and Aard­vark Top­sites grow in popularity).

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Rick Beckman