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I'm replacing Alexa, are you?

Used to be the best tool for the job, but not anymore...

     
8:40 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Ok, ok. I have pretty much always been an Alexa defender. I've got a few sites in the 3,000-10,000 range and for these sites the numbers have been at least proportional to the real traffic numbers, and my competitors have said the same. I've always defended Alexa by saying that it's not perfect, but it's the only tool that even attempts to do what it does. If you know its limitations, it is a valuable tool... at least it used to be.

Lately I've noticed that Alexa numbers are getting less and less accurate. I know that IE7 had some issues with the Alexa toolbar, and Vista apparently does too. I would have to assume that this is the root cause.

Fortunately, at the same time, a number of new traffic ranking sites have come online which have much more accurate traffic estimates than I've ever seen before. I won't mention the new sites by name, even though I'm not affiliated with any of them.

I am wondering if others are seeing Alexa numbers becoming less and less accurate?

10:14 pm on May 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've had a look at 4 other services, an i got the impression that 3 of them used an algo to mesh

Alexa score, page rank, backlinks reports, then come up with a figure, just an impression,

The 4th was different, but seemed to focus on directories

12:27 am on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A few of them that I've seen say they get network traffic data from ISP's.

In March I had a site which was experiencing the on/off phenomenom from Google, with traffic turning on and then off every week. One of these sites in particular shows the traffic differences day by day, which is something Alexa could never do.

The only drawback I see with this particular site is that you must have a pretty good flow of traffic before it registers... probably about 1,000 uniques a day.

9:33 am on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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the most accurate, probably hitwise, costs a ton :)

you must be serious about your data needs :)

[edited by: bakedjake at 2:01 pm (utc) on May 7, 2007]
[edit reason] added name [/edit]

2:03 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Moderator note: I'm willing to let this turn into a constructive and informative discussion on Alexa competitors, both paid and free.

Please feel free to reference them by name. The following rules apply:

1. No self promotion. Please, only people who have experience using the various tools. Please talk about both pros and cons.

2. No holy-war on the topic of paid vs. free.

Let's see if we can do this in a civilized manner.

2:16 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for clarifying Jake.

The most accurate of the free services that I've seen is from [compete.com...] . They show a month by month graph of people, rank and visits. To view daily data they have a report for Attention and a Velocity report. I haven't quite figured out the usefulness of the Attention report, but the velocity is great for seeing increases and declines in traffic.

The other free site that I think is worth mentioning is [Quantcast.com...] . Quantcast shows a daily graph, and they have demographic information, though my guess is that it's not as accurate as their raw traffic numbers.

Again, the biggest problem I see with these services is that a website has to have a substantial amount of traffic before they will show any kind of traffic data.

I'd love to know what others think of the accuracy of the data from these sites.

2:19 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here goes, i've been looking at, an I feel that their figures to some extent, look to be, related to Alexa's results

[ranking.com...]

[trafficestimator.com...]

and there one is just for directories, and it operates by having a widget on the directory.

I had a look at quantcast an wasn't interested, i'll have another look

2:26 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Had another look at quantcast and I am impressed an, alas had a similar idea, well tis not being the first that counts :)
4:02 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Trafficestimator appears to be parked...

As an added note to the accuracy of Alexa lately, my wife noticed this morning that Alexa reports that Hallmarks website is going down, which I would think would be nearly impossible just before Mothers Day.

4:28 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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corrected url, oh the embarrasment :)

[trafficestimate.com...]

4:56 pm on May 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Compete.com is incredible accurate, at least for my site.
 

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