Serious question: Traffic on the site

Just wondering. Is traffic down since you know what?

I just added a couple of Cycle stouts, pretty hot release. Never had to do that before.

Also, CBS 2017 has hit distro and is pretty hot. Has 483 ratings on untappd. 0 here.

I love ratebeer but I am just wondering if this has always been the case

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yes it has.

Depends on what you mean by traffic. If you mean dudes like us entering beers and adding thousands of ratings then yes, our numbers have been slowly decaying for years now. Not sure how many left suddenly on “the day of the announcement” but I don’t think it’s that many. Some key contributors for sure, but not a large number. Fact is, our community is so small now that losing anyone hurts coverage/numbers-wise.

If you mean traffic as in site visits and single use visitors that’s way up apparently. These new forums show some of that in the stats, lotsa lurkers. The key will be in converting these people to contribute something.

Didn’t Joe post somewhat recently that the website set traffic records within the last couple of months?

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not 100% accurate but here you go
https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ratebeer.com

He did but he declined to comment on the sources, leading us to believe much of it was simply from press/media i.e. people clicking links to ratebeer but not actually registering or using the site. Having said that, the announcement was back in June and I’m not aware of any big news since then that would have led to a sustained increase. I’m not seeing evidence of many new users so I can only assume more people are using the site to check ratings of beers but not actually contributing.

No, this is not the case. Instead we’ve seen a proliferation of beer and brewers at rates at which we’ve been unable to keep up. I just looked at distinct User IDs for adding beers in 2016 vs 2017, and we are up 17.5% year to year with a month to go.

We also had our greatest rating month (total number of ratings for a month) in the site’s history this Summer. This was not long after the ZX Ventures investment announcement.

The site has always attracted press and viewers. While we aren’t seeing the same ratio of contributors, you’re right to point this out as an opportunity for outreach. We’re developing plans to be more open to visitors and devising ways for them to contribute and join us.

Another related trend we’re seeing, and this is from interviews and not from a hard look at the data (which would be full of assumptions), is that the proliferation of new beers has become so much that reviewers who needed to survey large areas and rely on heavy trade no longer have to. Many avid reviewers are more sated by new beers in their area so that their rating habit no longer requires as much travel, online purchases and trade. This tendency to greater local concentration leaves out some higher effort and less local beers.

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That might be because the new CBS is the same as the old one, so people will rate the existing entry.

Otherwise, I acknowledge, but it has always been like this. Untappd has such a massive following that they will always be first and that beers will get lots of ‘check-ins’ fast.

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That’s true, but I checked out of interest and the most recent rating is late Sept, the second most recent being in June. I know CBS actually has had a solid # of rates already, but it’s surprising that nobody at all would have rated it.

I see the problem posed by there being so many brewers and beers at this point that there is a demand for many more active users in order to attain the same relative coverage of beers in the database. I am less convinced by the idea that the increasing strength of local scenes is behind some of the more glaring poor coverage we see. I was shocked by the poor coverage of beers upon traveling to California for the first time earlier this year, coming from (currently) Scandinavia. The San Diego area has high population density, a plethora of local options and an established interest in craft beer. The coverage is bad anyway. Other than a couple of regulars, it was often other tourists from the east side of the Atlantic if there were indeed ratings. We’re not trying to be Untappd, but surely we should be able to attract several active members in a major beer-producing metro?

well - maybe most American users who are interested have already rated CBS (and therefore didn’t tick the new batch), and the Europeans didn’t get their share yet, because it was released just very recently. But I hear it will hit Systembolaget, so there’s a good chance it’ll get some coverage by European tickers.

I once added a beer back in Summer of 2015 while I visited Green Flash at a point where the beer had ~200 Untappd checkins. It was on tap for at least 2-3 weeks at Green Flash (which is not exactly a remote or unknown location); I was the only user to tick that for like 7 months, and I am still pretty damn sure the other 5 ratings had the other version of that beer that was released later (and is a different entry)

It’s been a few years since the last CBS batch, right? So if there are no new American users who are interested, that explains that but showcases a bigger problem instead…

I looked at Monkish today out of curiosity and checked a DIPA with an entry but 0 ratings. Over 800 checkins on Untappd, and it’s not like Monkish has no profile. People love those DIPAs with good reason. The fact that we don’t have one interested rater who can get a hold of a can is pretty sad.

True, it’s supposed to come to Sweden and systembolaget February 16, in 355ml bottles (if I understand correctly it will only be released in 750ml bottles in the US?). I will most likely but at least 6 of them just because of my love for the KBS, and I’m sure many others will too - ratings will follow.

There used to be this brewery that was Top5 rated on Untappd, but was not even in our database.

And that particular one was not a homebrewer, I think.

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Of course it’s predictable that after the Systemet release, lots of us will rate it (as long as it doesn’t get hoarded out like KBS the first year it hit shelves rather than the web). That’s not really the point. If the site has to wait for a Swedish state release to get ratings on a beer that has an astronomical rating from previous batches, there should be questions asked…

Don’t know if I had a point with the post. If there was one it was probably this: Maybe many in the US has already rated it from previous batches? But I think it’s a bit more rare here in Sweden. Maybe rest of Europe too. So a new batch can only help the number of ratings.

Is that number high enough? I don’t know.

When in the real world drinking beer - talk to people. Rip a page from your note book and hand it to someone with ratebeer.com on it - along with a bit of beer babble.

You do raise some good points and I think it is slightly worrying/sad, especially with beers/breweries like those that seem to be held in such high regard and whose releases are well hyped.

What joet posted seems to suggest there’s plenty of new users but who knows what they’re rating or how often, or even if they’re rating. Maybe they’re all only rating macro lagers? Either way, Untappd grows exponentially faster than Ratebeer so we will always see beers with many hundreds times more ratings there than they have here, it’s especially evident with newer beers.

Untappd has over 4 million users. I don’t know how many we have here but I’m certain it’s an order of magnitude less. In terms of active users, look at the top users page. At the time of posting we have a mere ~7300 users with at least 100 ratings. Untappd doesn’t reveal any active user numbers, but if we half their total to 2 million, or even quarter it to 1 million, you can see just how easily their userbase amasses ratings of beers while Ratebeer could struggle to get a single rating. We’re always going to struggle what with RB being so much more niche. It’s so much easier to tap a few things on your phone than it is to sit and write a review for each beer you drink, and for most people this is enough, they don’t care to go further than this.

I don’t see RateBeer dying or anything though, especially if what joet says is true about traffic increasing. It suggests people find value in the site more and more. Seems the problem is turning these viewers into contributors. That needs to be a priority otherwise the site will deteriorate into a wasteland.

There is more active raters on Ratebeer than people that actively add beers. Especially new raters don’t enter beers a lot, as they are perhaps worried to make some mistakes. Lots of times I see it happen, that when a beer is added to our database, within a week it gets several ratings from different parts of the country (meaning, it’s not from 1 bottle shared at a tasting). So people leave beers in their backlog quite often, when they dont find it in the database. Ofcourse, on Untappd, you dont want a backlog, because you want your checkin and place stats and badges. Besides, most of the times, a beer is already added (twice or more :P), so no need for a backlog.

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Another related trend we’re seeing, and this is from interviews and not from a hard look at the data (which would be full of assumptions), is that the proliferation of new beers has become so much that reviewers who needed to survey large areas and rely on heavy trade no longer have to. Many avid reviewers are more sated by new beers in their area so that their rating habit no longer requires as much travel, online purchases and trade. This tendency to greater local concentration leaves out some higher effort and less local beers.

Certainly this has been the case in all three of the cities I’ve lived in over the last 5 years - Toronto, Ottawa, and D.C. More local beers, and better local beers that stop me from worrying about far away ticks. Having places that are top notch like Aslin, Ocelot and Commonwealth around and more available makes me stop worrying about the rare Tree House or Hill Farmstead ticks.

And yet the only breweries that seem to be accumulating a decent number of ticks are places like Hill Farmstead and Tree House. I’ve never heard about Aslin, Ocelot or Commonwealth, do they have any beers with 10 ratings? I live in a city with a couple brewpubs, 2 of them decent 2 awful. I add beers whenever I go out it seems and none seem to get any kind of rating traction. It feels lonely as a ratebeerian out there sometimes, and I’m talking even in major cities.