Compete, Alexa and Quantcast work great for me

After recent webanalytics bashing over at Venturebeat

I decided to add my 2 cents to the debate:

Third party webanalytic tools like Quantcast, Compete, Alexa.. will never deliver great accuracy as long as no tracking code is added to every single page.
Webanalytics tools like Google Analytics, Websidestory, Omniture… will also never be 100% accurate sources. Tor software, logfiles/Javascripts/Hybrid measurement, Cookie deletion, robots, spiders and many other things can delute the data.

So what can we do? Bash the young webanalytics industry and bait plenty of links or use the given tools as good as we can? I believe second option is better.

Third party tracking tools give you an idea about what is going on. If third-party numbers from Streetfire are off with one(!) of the tools…who really cares?

As an advertiser I have plenty of other options to measure the quality of their traffic.

The site owners also have the option to look at their own also not 100% accurate Google analytics numbers.
This heated debate reminds me of the early search engine days. Everybody complaint that they don’t get ranked on top, but nobody did optimize their site. Nowadays it is the “unreliable” webanalytics industry, and still people don’t try to improve their situation (e.g. display stats on the website, track the website with several free tools, compare and merge third-party numbers…). Next…

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February 23rd, 2007

Venturebeat “beats” webanalytics industry again

Matt Marshall at Venturebeat seems not to stop beating up the webanalytics industry. Last time he posted about the industry during the famous Digg vs. “fight” and I responded.

This time he again mentions that all big webanalytics solutions have “problems” and I agree with him that since his post in August not much has happened in terms of quality.

But what I don’t like about his posting is the bashing of new Alexa competitors. These competitors are only a few months in the market and nobody should expect, that Compete or Quantcast deliver accurate data for millions of websites. These companies just build a brand new system with high profile engineers as well as statistics professors and in my opinion a little patience can be expected. The Google search engine needed some time to be sophisticated as well, so why not give these companies time to come up with a better solution than Alexa currently provides.

I am still convinced that Alexa, Compete, Quantcast, Hitwise, Nielsen, Comscore and others will push the pace and will develop much better results over the next months and years.

Web measurement of the entire internet is not easy at all, but results are still often better than TV or Radio ratings, which scientists try to improve for decades.


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February 8th, 2007