Nielsen data as inaccurate as Alexa data?

Posted by webmeasurement on September 8th, 2006 filed in Webanalytics general

Recently after all the discussion about the accuracy of Alexa, Comscore, Nielsen or Hitwise I dugg a little bit more into the different vendors.

As mentioned before Alexa has the problem, that it collects traffic with the Alexa toolbar, which is usually used by webmasters or technical interested users. This obviously caused technical related websites to rank higher than non-technical websites (Just google NYTimes vs. Digg.com).

Nielsen collects data with its Nielsen/Netratings Internet Panel software. The software can be downloaded for free and is available for everybody. This causes the same problem as with Alexa. Websites can promote the Nielsen Netratings Internet Panel software to its customers with the effect, that their numbers look much better.

Hitwise seems to be the most advanced technique, b/c they collect data directly from the ISPs.

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2 Responses to “Nielsen data as inaccurate as Alexa data?”

  1. J Says:

    More food for thought:
    NetRatings and Comscore use a panel of 30k and 100k respectively, and both use web widgets to capture data without using cookies. Hitwise uses non-widget software and online panels. (Would like to know the type of ISPs are that Hitwise has contracts with - 1st tier or 2nd tier etc). Hitwise does not currently capture anything after the domain name (I understand): No /home, no /myarea?pw=123 etc. Hitwise does track University originating traffic as well as Home and Work. NetRatings does not track University originating info because they say its complicated and/or expensive to be sufficiently accurate.

  2. Webanalyticsbook Says:

    Thanks for your input!
    Regarding university traffic it is interesting to see how these companies manage different countries. It is hard to believe that universities in central Europe give out any data. Privacy is a big issue and private companies will never have access to this data. The question remains: Which of these companies can really help determing the needs of the advertising industry and deliver accurate numbers.

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