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Thread: Compete.com an Alexa competitor

  1. #16
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpanella View Post
    That would be an interesting study to see how accurate all the different metrics are at different traffic levels.
    It would be interesting to know although I suspect that Alexa loses accuracy on any site that gets less than a couple million visits per month. One thing that is interesting about Compete.com is that I get the distinct impression that their popularity ranking is based upon individual users, Not visits or page views. Whereas Alexa ranks (or at least did) based on pageviews. This difference in methodology could really reduce the "forum" factor.
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  2. #17
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Okay I'm really confused.

    What is this comment referring to? Is it referring to the seomoz article or to compete.com???
    The SEOmoz one. They couldn't find any accuracy because all the site's had traffic so small that the difference between them was within a reasonable margin of error for the total sample size.
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  3. #18
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    This is a really cool tool. Recently a new competitor of ours appeared out of nowhere and started going around claiming huge success and traffic numbers in an insanely short period of time. They pointed to their Alexa ranking as "proof" of this. Looking them up on compete.com confirms my suspicion that they were artificially inflating their Alexa rank.

  4. #19
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westech View Post
    This is a really cool tool. Recently a new competitor of ours appeared out of nowhere and started going around claiming huge success and traffic numbers in an insanely short period of time. They pointed to their Alexa ranking as "proof" of this. Looking them up on compete.com confirms my suspicion that they were artificially inflating their Alexa rank.
    Although I'm seriously freaked about my click stream data being sold, I do see that compete.com could help "out" those who are inflating their popularity via Alexa. For years many of us have been screaming about how flawed Alexa data is, but the rebuttal excuse was "well it's the best we got". Now we can prove just how inaccurate Alexa is AND provide people with a better alternative--at least for U.S. traffic stats.

    Now if we could just convince advertisers to look at compete.com stats instead of Alexa stats.
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  5. #20
    Registered ZigE's Avatar
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    Hmm, is it accurate for anyone else?

    I've been running some rough numbers on a few sites, and it seems way way to low, than it should be.

  6. #21
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    For my biggest site it shows about 50% of the actual US uniques reported by Google Analytics.
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    Last edited by rpanella; 03-17-2011 at 10:45 AM.

  7. #22
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    How much traffic are you talking about per day? Also, it looks at absolute "users," not visits, which could be the reason for the "low" number compared to what you expect.

    As Chris pointed out the lower the traffic numbers for a site the more inaccurate the data will be from any survey.

    Really the way this data should be used is to compare different sites because at least from the free no login required option we don't see the number of visits or page views for a specific site and we can not extrapolate this information from the information provided because the first tab is "people" the second is "rank" and the third is "pages per visit". From this we can not determine the number of visits a site gets per month.

    For advertisers these three tabs really are the most important pieces of information as they can help determine how many people their ads will get in front of and the ranking will help give a relevant popularity comparison between different sites. The added benefit being that this data is not skewed the way Alexa is. Even if it does turn out to under count the actual number of people who visit a site, it will be done in a consistent manner across all sites thus site comparisons will still be relevant.

    BTW here is a comparison for three popular webmaster related forums (Webmaster world, Sitepoint & Digitalpoint): http://snapshot.compete.com/webmaste...italpoint.com+

    Contrary to what some posts in these forums have suggested Sitepoint's popularity continues to climb in spite of many of the changes they have made over the last year and a half.
    Last edited by KLB; 03-24-2007 at 07:07 AM.
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  8. #23
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    SP also I think has a more internation audience, especially Australian.
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  9. #24
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Right, but Compete.com does not report international traffic. It only reports U.S. traffic.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB View Post
    How much traffic are you talking about per day? Also, it looks at absolute "users," not visits, which could be the reason for the "low" number compared to what you expect.
    Google Analytics reports 1.8m absolute uniques in Feb and about 52% US so about 900k absolute unique US, and Compete reports between 400k-500k uniques from the US in Feb.
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    Last edited by rpanella; 03-17-2011 at 10:46 AM.

  11. #26
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    The question comes down to the definition of unique visitors. GA may be defining it differently because of their ability to place cookies on individual user's computers and users ability to delete/refuse cookies. Compete on the other hand maybe be counting uniques as unique IP addresses and/or unique ISP user accounts. This difference in the definition of uniques could easily explain the difference.
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB View Post
    The question comes down to the definition of unique visitors. GA may be defining it differently because of their ability to place cookies on individual user's computers and users ability to delete/refuse cookies. Compete on the other hand maybe be counting uniques as unique IP addresses and/or unique ISP user accounts. This difference in the definition of uniques could easily explain the difference.

    The difference between uniques based on cookies vs IPs would only be less than a percent and we are talking them missing half of a million uniques.

    I personally would assume that Google Analytics (which matches up with all my ad network impressions, server logs, etc) would probably be closer to the actual number and Compete.com which uses toolbar statistics and a tiny fraction of ISP logs, is actually reporting almost half my visitors.

    You are bascially saying that this is not the case, Compete is accurate and Google is probably over counting by twice since they might use cookies as well. This is a ridiculous conclusion, and it is far more likely that Compete is simply not as accurate as you concluded based on the single instance where they are accurate for your site.
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    Last edited by rpanella; 03-17-2011 at 10:46 AM.

  13. #28
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Yes, you cannot say Compete is 100% accurate.. merely just more accurate than alexa. No matter what their sample size, they're still just extrapolating a guess and that isn't as accurate as anything that directly logs traffic on your site.
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  14. #29
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    Agreed Chris, it is likely more accurate than Alexa in many regards (mostly webmaster skew) but probably also less accurate in some regards.

    The fact these competitors to Alexa are coming out is great though, because by using them all together (triangulating the data if you will), it is likely possible to get more accurate figures than any one service could provide by itself. Also, just having competition will push them to provide more accurate data.
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    Last edited by rpanella; 03-17-2011 at 10:46 AM.

  15. #30
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Yes, you cannot say Compete is 100% accurate.. merely just more accurate than alexa. No matter what their sample size, they're still just extrapolating a guess and that isn't as accurate as anything that directly logs traffic on your site.
    Yes this is part of what I'm saying. I'm also saying that GA is not 100% accurate either. It may be more accurate than Compete.com, BUT it still isn't as accurate as server logs. Also what I'm saying that definitions of what a qualifies as a unique person is are different for Compete.com and GA and thus they really aren't comparable. If one is comparing two sites, one would draw false conclusions if tried to compare compete.com uniques for one site against GA uniques for the other site.

    Anytime one tries to compare numbers from two different statistical methodologies, one will draw false conclusions.
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