free html hit counter You Want Some Love, Yahoo (or AOL, or Google, or...)? Please, Please Give Us An Alexa We Can Trust - John Battelle's Search Blog

You Want Some Love, Yahoo (or AOL, or Google, or…)? Please, Please Give Us An Alexa We Can Trust

By - October 30, 2006


The ongoing charley horse on the booming online advertising marketplace, in particular with regard to community driven and blog sites, is the lack of any reliable third party traffic estimates. Alexa is a joke, but everyone uses it. Comscore can’t measure these sites well, as Fred points out.

I’ve been at both Google and Yahoo in the past ten days, and privately, folks there both told me that they had the data and the wherewithal to blow Alexa out of the water. They have relationships with tens of millions of customers, and access to billions of clickstreams. Why not create, if only for the PR rub off, a solid estimator of web traffic? Lord knows we need it.

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10 thoughts on “You Want Some Love, Yahoo (or AOL, or Google, or…)? Please, Please Give Us An Alexa We Can Trust

  1. TJ Mahony says:

    Love the timing of this issue. Last week Compete silently launched SnapShot – a new, bigger and more diverse metrics service available to the public. Visit Compete’s website, enter a website and hit the SnapShot button.

    Note: Compete’s numbers are US based and will not capture international traffic.

    Compete is posting a tutorial movie on its blog later this afternoon for more information.

  2. Yes! Needed badly. I’m floored how much credence is given to Alexa. e.g. My blog with under 300 readers beats my Airport Code site with about 3,000. Silly Alexa!

  3. dumbfounder says:

    they don’t want to do it because in the even that their stats are off, they are afraid of the bad PR that comes with it. If a big site comes out and says that Google’s stats are wrong, then that looks very bad for Google. As much as I hate to say it, because I would LOVE to see good stats out there, there really isn’t a lot in it for them to offer stats to the public.

  4. Lars Koudal says:

    I agree, we sure need it. But one thing might be a problem. I think there are quite a few businesses out there who will have a problem with this..

    I for one have an unreasonable high Alexa ranking (although fading now) which helped me gain some sponsors through the ad networks i am participating in, and I gather I am not the only one.

    Although, in the long run, I do believe that if Google or Yahoo decides to blow Alexa out of the water, it would be a great benefit to users and advertisers out there, giving a better and more realistic impression of web trends as well as traffic.

    Now, who would do it? I would like to bet Google, but then again…??

  5. Pascal says:

    There is only actually, and it is called Nielsen Net Ratings/TnS Net Ratings. The problem is that it costs $40K per year!!!! But it is pretty accurate and is used by most large Internet companies.

  6. It is really not important how many generic visitors a site gets…..

    What is more important are the common elements/interests among the majority of visitors

    Some sites may attract mostly Geeks – others Entertaiment – others Scientists – others Academics…etc etc.

    Digg users Statistics and Trackers like most every other high profile site.

    They are more than welcomed to publically display them – like TECHCRUNCH and GIZMODO and Instpundit and Lifehacker Does and Michelle Malkin….etc etc

    They have chosen NOT to – and that is their right……But may others ARE doing just that – What some feel they should hide this info is anyone’s guess

  7. John, What do you think of Quantcast ?

  8. Alexa shows what sites are visited in relative terms. Alexa is able to get away with it because all measurements are relative and nearly impossible to confirm (parts-per-million). Through Google Trends, Google while not showing what sites are visited, is already showing what keywords are searched on–and again, is able to get away with it unchallenged because they’re showing it in relative terms. It’s only natural that they would take the next step.

  9. dobata says:

    I’d bet on Google acquiring another company to do the service for them, when when they decide to splash some money to get the headlines. The death of Alexa is in my opinion inevitable and is just a matter of time, as dumbfounder many will suffer but we need something a lot more accurate that what we have now