The following is the opening ‘graph in a piece on “top doctors” in the October issue of San Diego magazine:
I can’t explain it. Put a list of local doctors in a magazine, create a cover with a trustworthy-looking physician–or an artsy stethoscope–and watch newsstand sales soar. It happens every year. This isn’t just a San Diego trend. In our publishing niche–overseen by the City & Regional Magazine Association–“Top Docs” covers are annual best-sellers for city magazines all over the country. [emphasis added]
Maybe the author can’t explain it, but I can: There is a market opportunity. There is apparently immense latent demand for doctor rankings, and people jump on anyone who provides the information for them, even if it’s only annual stuff in a glossy magazine.
So why isn’t there a similarly glossy website providing the same information? It’s obvious people are willing to pay for it.