Measuring the Webcomic Audience: Version 0.2

In May, Comixpedia published a "most-read" list based largely on information obtained through comparative traffic rankings from Alexa and Traffic Ranking. For July, we present version 0.2 of our audience measurement project. Remember that this project is still in beta mode, and that we welcome your feedback.

To determine the rankings of webcomics for version 0.1 (May) of the list, we used weighted information from Alexa as one-third of a webcomic's score, and information from Traffic Ranking as two-thirds of the total score. In addition, approximately two-thirds of a webcomic's score was based on unique visits and one-third on total page views.

For version 0.2 of our measurement project we have relied on the same sources but have altered the formula slightly and significantly reduced the weight placed on information obtained from Alexa. In this version of the list, we first use Traffic Ranking data to rank the top 25 webcomics both in terms of unique visitors and in terms of page views. Those rankings are than added together to give the webcomic a score. For example, Penny Arcade placed first for unique visitors and third for page views which were added together to give it a score of 4. Based on the lowest total scores a list of the 15 most-read webcomics was created.

Comparative information from Alexa was than used to fine tune each webcomic's ranking on the final list. Each webcomic was compared to the two webcomics above and below it on the list, and its rank on the list was adjusted based on Alexa information. No webcomic was moved more than two places in this second step of the process and no webcomic was added or removed to the list based on Alexa information.

We have also continued to add webcomics to our watchlist. As before, this list only ranks those webcomics actually on our watchlist. To the extent that we are missing a webcomic on our watchlist that potentially would place on our most-read list, we rely on you, the readers, to bring it (them) to our attention.

We note that many of the webcomics on our list for May return to the list again. Four comics slipped off the list: General Protection Fault, Angst Technology, Bob and George, and Movie Comics. That left room for four comics to move onto the list: Mall Monkeys, Avalon, Get Your War On, and Errant Story. (Of the newcomers to the list Get Your War On and Mall Monkeys were not on the watchlist for May.)

List 0.2

Rank Name URL Last List Time on Chart
1 Penny Arcade 1 2
2 Megatokyo 6 2
3 Player VS Player 5 2
4 8 Bit Theater 2 2
5 Exploding Dog 11 2
6 Sinfest 7 2
7 Sluggy Freelance 4 2
8 Real Life 10 2
9 User Friendly 3 2
10 Mall Monkeys 1
11 Mac Hall 13 2
12 RPG World 12 2
13 Avalon 1
14 Get Your War On 1
15 Errant Story 1

Watch List

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. Sometimes when a comic is late in updating, I visit it several times a day, or sometimes I go back and reread it. People who do the same may throw the numbers out.

  2. Ctrl-Alt-Del and DS were both very close. I don’t have the calculations on hand but I think they were both in the top 30 comics.

    It just goes to show how much disconnect there still is between fans of various sub-communities of webcomics. I am sure there are still very popular webcomics that are not even on the watchlist that might place in the top fifteen for audience numbers.

    That’s why we keep stressing this is “beta” and under development. I’m hoping more people will reply to this story with more webcomics to include and more discussion of what the best data points are for creating the list. Not getting a lot of that this time so if you have ideas or criticism throw it out here! Thanks.

  3. i think a top 50 or 100 would probably be way more useful than 15!

    (of course, that’s more work ;0 )

  4. You should add Something Positive to the list

  5. Why include page views at all? Why not just use number of visitors per day?

  6. I’m positive Diesel Sweeties should be on that list. Seriously, Mall Monkeys above DS? And what about comics like CTRL-ALT-DEL?

  7. I was thinking the best way to do this would be most unique page-views in a day, over a week or month.
    Many webcomics, especially the manga styled ones that can take longer to draw, only update once a week. That balances the playing field some for various updating strategies.
    I still haven’t figured out how to deal with another problem though. Many people don’t read their comics daily. They’ll wait a few days and then read a group of comics at once. My guess is that they choose to read based on how many comics should have been created in that time, rather than the amount of time that has gone bye. People will frequent heavy updaters more often.

    I’d like to see a more developed list like this, broken down by genre, with more webcomics. I think that would be an excellent way to search for good webcomics, much better than the hit or miss style I use with or the top webcomics sites, which I have never found useful for any type of website. People vote with their time.

  8. How many webcomics are you looking for? You could simply advertise on the main Comixpedia site, and word would get around fairly quickly. Maybe with some honor system censorship of a certain score with your criteria, and and a simple way to get their score.

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