It is hard to make a definite list of the most popular BitTorrent sites. Over the years we’ve made quite a few lists, and reported some of the latest trends. Most lists we published were based on Alexa‘s ranking, mainly because it was pretty much the only traffic source that was available. Recently, however, Google started to rank websites as well, including a traffic estimate.
So, let’s see how well Google does, and how their traffic estimation and ranking compares to actual traffic data and Alexa’s ranking respectively.
One of the interesting features of Google’s site comparison is that it gives an estimation of the daily traffic when you’re logged in on a Google account. The data used for the traffic statistics comes from Google analytics, consumer panels, and other third-party market research.
The traffic data seem to be quite accurate, for some sites at least. The daily (absolute) unique visitors for Mininova, for example, is estimated to be slightly above 2 million a day, which matches with real traffic stats we got from the Mininova team.
As we look at the graph below we can clearly see that Mininova is in the lead judging by the number of visitors, followed by The Pirate Bay. isoHunt and Torrentz compete for the third place. After these four sites there is a huge gap to other BitTorrent sites such as BTjunkie, TorrentReactor and TorrentPortal.
It is interesting to see how many similarities there are between Google’s ranking, and the daily reach according to Alexa.
The regional differences in popularity of the sites are also worth mentioning. The Pirate Bay, for example, is more popular than Mininova in the US, and especially in Sweden. Torrentz, on the other hand, does really well in India, while isoHunt has a relatively large fanbase in Japan.
Overall it seems that BitTorrent sites are still growing, especially The Pirate Bay, since they nearly doubled their traffic in a year. This is pretty much in line with the growth in the number of peers on The Pirate Bay trackers, which went from 5 to well over 10 million in the last 12 months.