Discuss the "Journalists please please stop quoting website hits!" Blog

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "Journalists please please stop quoting website hits!!" blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion folows it.

Read Martin's "Journalists please please stop quoting website hits!!!!!" Blog


  • Donger20Donger20 Forumite
    30 Posts

    I also used to refer to Alexa until I was told it bases its data on people who use their toolbar. So the rankings are based upon the usage patterns of Alexa Users.

    Best wishes and congratulations on 1m unique visitors a month.

    Dongers of the world unite!
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
    Yes Donger, you're right it is based on the toolbar, though that has wide spread use. When I compare its movements to the sites actual traffic, its reasonably (though not 100% accurate). Then again MSE is now a very big site, and the further down the tree you go the more manipulated the data is by a site with a regular user with the Alexa toolbar.

    And thanks for the congrats

    Martin :)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • srasra Forumite
    4.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    But who actually uses Alexa?

    I have never once seen anyone on MSE say they use it - and on techie they often say what they have installed.

    Alexa is also IE only - so users Firefox/Opera and other operating systems like Apple or Linux are completely left out.

    Quite a few of the (very big) sites I go to where the users are more web-savvy say that their logs show 60%+ of visitors use Firefox so those sites don't get represented well on Alexa

    Alexa is only measuring a certain type of user.
  • charlieheardcharlieheard Forumite
    522 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    Reading the front page of Alexa today, it says that Yahoo's share isn't correct anyway. Google has almost 10 times the share of Yahoo :confused:
    Is it just me, or are these charts a bit goofy? Does Yahoo really still have 23% of the search market? Is Google at less than half the search market?

    I don't believe it. Any webmaster will tell you that Google represents almost ALL of the search engine traffic. Yahoo is nowhere near 23%. Just read the blogs, here, here, here and here and on countless other blogs.

    So I decided to poke around Alexa's stats and generate my own search engine market share graph. According to my calcs, Google is at almost 85% market share. Yahoo is at 9%. This seems to mirror what I expected.

    "You may have speed, but I have momentum"
  • notkennotken Forumite
    82 Posts
    I agree. While Alexa can be fairly useful, it's only accurate in a very general sense. I've alway preferred to point people towards Metrics Market which garners its data by studying the traffic at the ISP end, rather than picking and choosing individual users (which, if they have any sense, won't actually install the Alexa toolbar).

    But, Martin, I congratulate you on your figures and for also educating people on the falacy of 'hits', something I've been going blue in the face explaining to PR people for years.

    I do also think that page views is exceptionally useful, as it can be used to show how many pages a single user views in a session. It discounts those people who pop to a site, think it's rubbish and leave again!

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