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).