I have always been transfixed by the ability to see behind the scenes with web data on sites and figure out problems and why some things work and some don’t. 3rd party data isn’t as good as the data you’d collect on your own, but accessing your competitor’s data is never going to happen, so you may as well take a look at the 3rd party stuff right?
Nielsen and comScore have been in this business for years. Alexa has tried to get into this market as well although I’m not sure why their numbers seem to be off by such a large amount all the time. What’s with their sample group? Why do they skew so much? I can’t even figure out how they skew to account for it.
Another company named Compete Inc (from the founder of Overture, the last web revolution) launched this week and it seems to give “right on” numbers for the sites that I know the real traffic for. I am not sure how they’re getting it right with a sample of only 2 million, but they are. They also try and provide page views and time on site data and let you compare 3 sites at a time. Its like Google trends but with any web site you want rather than just google keywords. In the future I’d like to se them offer real numbers rather than just charts with numbers on the side, and the ability to export the data to excel. But they’re young, there’s lots of time for that. I’d also like to see a partnership with someone offline to see how online and offline compare with impression, viewers & visits. Kind of a big picture view of what’s happening in print, online and on TV all at the same time…ok maybe I’m just in geek land here.
Anyway, if you’re doing research on where to advertise or partner with for traffic purposes this site becomes all the more valuable. Why believe inflated comScore data when you can see what you’d really be buying in traffic each month. (I hope youd be doing some pay per performance type deal, a CPM or flat fee is a way to get ripped off fast)
Compete.com is a new site that should change the way the world views web traffic data with its free transprency and will put the presure on Nielsen and comScore to provide more than just monthly numbers and offer more comprehensive dashboard, reporting and analysis tools to make the several thousand a month they charge for access worth the fees.