ComScore Media Metrix, Nielsen NetRatings, Hitwise screen shot
ABOVE: An off-the-wall traffic estimate from

by Durant Imboden, Europe for Visitors

Of all the major Web-analytics sites, is the one that I trust least. The numbers that it shows for our site are far below the actual numbers reported by Google Analytics, even after allowing for the fact that Compete's estimates are for U.S. traffic only (a limitation that's buried in a FAQ). 

Here's an example of how inaccurate's statistics can be:

  • For June, 2010, reports 49,904 unique visitors for our domain.
  • Google Analytics reports 382,742 visits and 332,048 "absolute unique visitors" for the same period, with 30 percent or 99,614 of those absolute unique visitors coming from the United States.
  • In other words, we had nearly double the U.S. traffic and several times the total traffic that showed in its public "site profile" for

Other data is equally suspect: Compete's "top search terms" for our site are at odds with keyword lists provided by Google Analytics and our server logs.

My advice: 

If you want to compare your site's traffic with that of other sites, don't rely on the numbers from You'll have better luck with "Quantified" statistics from Quantcast, which are accredited by the Media Research Council.

Next article: "ComScore Media Metrix, Nielsen NetRatings, Hitwise"


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