Guessing the value of popular blogs is a very inexact science. Almost all of them are private companies. Earnings figures rarely emerge. And, in many cases, the owner is one of the most important voices (if that blogger leaves after selling the site, it’s then worthless). That said, the folks at 24/7 Wall St are pretty good guessers. Two of their “Twenty-Five Most Valuable Blogs” last year sold at prices fairly close to editor Douglas A. MacIntyre's estimates. So, with the economy spinning, ad dollars evaporating, and the much-covered election over, many wondered how blog appraisals would change. This morning, we found out just how much.
The list looks basically the same, but the order and values slid all over the place.
The general trend, unsurprisingly, showed prices going down. The popular Apple gossip site MacRumors lost 75 percent of its value, slumping from second place to seventh. The culprit? Bad ad atmosphere. Even with 5 million unique visitors a month, MacRumors's hunt for paying advertisers led it to accept a lot of spots at cheaper prices.
The new No. 2, the Huffington Post, also took a hit because of the "quality of its advertising." But, unlike MacRumors, the Post is "probably the most well-known 'blog' in the world," according to the list. Even after the presidential election, the site had held on to its 12 million readers a month. Huffington's readership and prestige would make a prized jewel in any media company's online portfolio, says Mr. MacIntyre. The appraisal: $90 million.