There seems to be huge ambiguities between Google Analytics, Quantcast, Alexa, Compete and Nielsen. I recently read a very interesting article posted on the reddit blog about this subject, I will summarise it here for you.
The point reddit is making is that there is now a culture for advertisers to not trust Google Analytics. Advertisers prefer to use their own sources of traffic information, and they have become trusted over the years. If we look at the four major organisations offering traffic reports we can see there is some weirdness going on.
Compete.com reports that reddit only gets 927,000 unique visitors a month and there is no stat for page views.
Quantcast is very different showing unique visitors at nearly 11 million and also not showing the most important stat, page views.
For Alexa, I have to agree with reddit it ‘is just plain weird’. Alexa does not offer any tallying totals but just rates sites by their ‘percentage of total Internet traffic’. The graphs show a comparison between reddit and other competing sites, if you can decipher the graphs then it is also underestimating the size of reddit.
Nielsen really is off the scent with their figures. They estimate reddits online market size (reddit doesn’t know what this means) as 652,000.
The problem is that it is very difficult to find out how these organisations are coming up with their estimations; also how does an underestimated site go about getting a more realistic value? This is a very interesting topic of debate because remember the advertisers don’t like Google Analytics they use alternatives, and if these alternatives are under representing your site you are at a disadvantage. If an advertiser is offering you a low price for your prime real estate then check to see what traffic reporter they are using. Go over to the reddit blog and check out the comments section.