As with previous editions of the REAL Pluralist Guide, with respect to methodology and other crucial matters, you'll just have to trust the organizers that they have polled an appropriately diverse and informed representative group of professionals. Don't fuss. If you need a guide for choosing a graduate program, you're not in a position to judge such matters anyway, so you simply don't need to know how this Guide was constructed.
One thing to note is that this version of the REAL Pluralist Guide is importantly different from the previous version. We needn't discuss those changes here, nor explain the errors in our previous version and our attempt to correct them, nor really reveal much of anything about what's new. But the following should be clear: trust us. After all, we're the pluralists. No matter how few in number we are, nor how unanimous we are in our philosophical views, nor how unified we are in conceiving ourselves as anti-mainstream, and no matter how ignorant we are of the trends in philosophy we claim to oppose. Again, that you have to trust us only proves how little information you really need about what we're doing here.
That said, our REAL Pluralist Guide actually functions like this. Go to the FAKE Pluralist Guide. Review their recommendations for whatever category of "pluralist" philosophy that interests you. Then visit the websites of those departments, and take note of where the younger and mid-career specialists in the area that interest you did their degrees (the really senior people are no longer good sources of the kind of information you need). Then apply to those other places.
What you'll find is that the departments recommended by the FAKE Pluralist Guide rarely hire from the other departments recommended by the FAKE Pluralist Guide. The departments recommended by the FAKE Pluralist Guide are populated by specialists in "pluralist" areas who were trained in departments that are NOT recommended by the FAKE Pluralist Guide.
This confirms conclusions reached in the earlier version of the REAL Pluralist Guide. The best places to do cutting-edge work in the "pluralist" areas are places that are especially strong in mainstream areas, and thus strong overall. That is, one who is interested in, say, Continental Philosophy, would likely get better training at, say, Austin, Columbia, Chicago, or Toronto than at any of the departments "strongly recommended" by the FAKE Pluralist Guide. These former departments are the ones that have trained the people who get the jobs at the FAKE Pluralist-recommended departments.
The reason is simple: Doing excellent work in any area of philosophy ("pluralist" or not) requires one to get excellent training in philosophy as such. Self-declared "pluralist" departments are not pluralist in any sense worth valuing. They are typically not open-minded diverse places where a vast variety of philosophical issues are worked on. They are more commonly enclave departments that impose on their students an especially narrow conception of what's going on in Philosophy, while also enlisting their unwitting students as pawns in a futile disciplinary crusade to invert existing norms and standards so that, conveniently, the things they do come out as the only kind of philosophy that really matters. Do not allow self-declared pluralists to use you and your professional prospects as chips in their play for disciplinary hegemony. Do philosophy instead. And the best places to do philosophy (of any kind) are the places that do not wrap themselves up in the ridiculous garb of "pluralism."