I’ve been in the podcasting industry for over 22 years and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people talking about podcast rankings. While podcast rankings can be a great metric to measure your success, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about them. In this episode of “The Podmaster”, I expose the fraud of podcast rankings and tell you how much attention you should award to treat them.    
Artwork for the podcast rankings episode of the podmaster

What are podcast rankings?

Podcast rankings are seen as a way of measuring the success of a podcast. They are typically seen as a visual representation of the most popular podcasts in a given category. But they’re not. Podcast rankings can be found on streaming services like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and many others. The podcast rankings are determined by a variety of factors, including the number of followers a podcast has, and the length of time a listener kept listening. Reviews make zero difference. These rankings are generally used by the media to determine which podcasts are doing well and which ones are not.

What factors influence podcast rankings?

Soooo many factors can influence podcast rankings, but the most important one is the number of downloads and followers a podcast has. A podcast with a large number of followers and downloads is more likely to rank higher than one with a smaller number. Other factors include the quality of the audio and video, the amount of engagement with the podcast, and the frequency of updates. Additionally, the way the podcast is presented and promoted can also affect its rankings. If a podcast is well-promoted, it is more likely to rank higher than one that isn’t. The type of content a podcast produces can also influence its rankings. For example, if a podcast produces educational content, it is likely to rank higher than one that covers entertainment topics.

Unmasking the fraud of podcast rankings

The truth is, podcast rankings are not always a reliable indicator of success. Podcast rankings can be easily manipulated by buying downloads from unscrupulous click farm agents, which we covered extensively in the previous episode of “The Podmaster”.     There are also podcast consultants out there that claim to be top 1% podcasters. They’re mentioning that on their website so that they can sell you their expertise through courses and one-to-one coaching sessions. I know what you’re thinking – that’s fraud. And yes, it is. So why don’t they get in trouble? Well, they’re technically not lying. They’ve taken the ranking from a website called Listen Notes and this website uses a number of factors to calculate your ranking – none of which are actual listening numbers. The truth is these professional services themselves are often using shady tactics to boost podcast rankings for clients and that can result in your podcast being removed from the rankings.

Benefits of becoming a top ranking podcast

Despite the fraud that’s going on and tainting the industry, there are still some real world benefits to becoming a top ranking podcast. If you do it the right way. young team celebrating podcast rankings success A high ranking will increase your visibility and make it easier for new listeners to find your podcast. Also, having a high ranking can also give you a sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s a great feeling to know that your podcast is doing well and is being recognized for its hard work.

Does a high ranking guarantee success?

Unfortunately, having a high ranking does not guarantee success. In fact, it’s possible for a podcast to have a high ranking but still not be successful. High ranking doesn’t guarantee high quality and if what you’re putting out there is garbage, it doesn’t matter how closely matched to the listeners search terms your podcast is, if it’s the audio equivalent of baby poop, then you’re not going to have success with it. So, while having a high ranking is a great start, it’s important to focus on other aspects of your podcast such as the quality of your content. This will ensure that your podcast is successful, even if it doesn’t have a high ranking.

Podcast ranking services

If you’re looking to boost your podcast rankings, there are a few services out there that can help. These services will typically use a combination of organic and paid tactics to boost your rankings. Some of the most popular services include Chartable, Podcast Ranker, and my personal favourite, Podkite.   It’s important to note that these services can be expensive and may not always be effective. Additionally, they may use tactics that could get your podcast removed from the rankings. So, it’s important to do your research before using these services.


Podcast rankings can be a great indicator of success, but they can also be easily manipulated. It’s important to understand the factors that influence podcast rankings and to be aware of services that offer to boost podcast rankings. Additionally, having a high ranking doesn’t guarantee success, so it’s important to focus on other aspects of your podcast as well. If you’re looking to make the most of your podcast rankings, my advice is to focus on creating high-quality content and promoting your podcast in the right way. This will ensure that your podcast is successful, regardless of its ranking. Want to ignore the vanity metrics and get real world results from your podcast? Book yourself one of my popular podcast audits! Podcast rankings can be a great way to measure the success of your podcast, but it’s important to understand the fraud that can be associated with them. By understanding the factors that influence podcast rankings, you can make the most of them and ensure your podcast is successful.
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