I feel the small countries are the issue
I do not agree. Instead, small countries are who have shown the issue.
Let me show you two very easy examples of how the list should look like (in my opinion) and how the countries with a low number of sites are showing the problem. I will use Zambia for both examples:
- Zambia vs Zimbabwe: Zambia has a very high position (the top) because it has only one site but a very good site: Victoria Falls. However, Zimbabwe has the same site plus 4 others sites. Basically we can say Zimbabwe is Zambia plus 4 sites. For this reason is very easy to see the list should have Zimbabwe in a higher position than Zambia, because Victoria Falls + 4 is better than Victoria Falls + 0.
- Zambia vs Cambodia*: Zambia has the 10th best rated site + 0 more sites. Cambodia has the 1st + 2 more sites. Again, a very easy one: Cambodia should be higher than Zambia. The 1st + 2 sites is better than the 10th + 0 sites.
The problem is not the small countries. The problem is the low rated sites instead of add value to the countries they are substracting value (for the use of average).
Zimbabwe would have a higher position than Zambia if its 4 extra sites where adding value instead of substracting value.
Cambodia* would have a highier position than Zambia if its 2 extra sites where adding value instead of substracting value.
*Cambodia, Ecuador, Chile, Jordan... choose the country you want with a site in the top 10 of the ranking and you will see the same.
Wilson score is a great idea to rate sites because they are individual sites. But for countries (or hotspots if you do a ranking), as they are group of sites, the use of average will still create strange positions (with or without Wilson).
I hope this help.