UK's Top 100 websites ( is 91st) Blog Discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "UK's Top 100 websites ( is 91st)" blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion follows it.

Read Martin's "UK's Top 100 websites ( is 91st) Blog
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  • Edinburghlass_2
    Interesting to see that YouTube is number 9, you really need to stop the girls in MSE Towers checking out all The Hoff clips on there ;)

    Well done MSE for reaching the Top 100 :)
  • rls1973
    rls1973 Posts: 781 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    well done everyone at MSE, you should even higher!
  • firespire
    firespire Posts: 795 Forumite
    It seems a completely flawed table to me, I don't understand how these positions are worked out why does it contain sites like "thebestof" and American companies like "Digital Point Solutions".

    I know gets very high traffic and yet is not in the top 100? and a few others I can think of and am surprised they are not on this table.
  • nicksh
    nicksh Posts: 21 Forumite
    Congratulations Martin!
    You can be justly proud that your great site is doing so well; there's clearly thousands of us out there who value your honest insight & canny tips.
    Thanks for all your help, and here's to a thriving community of money savers.
  • philhuff
    philhuff Posts: 290 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    The Alexa system is flawed, very seriously, but it's the closest thing to accurate measures as you can get.

    It uses a toolbar installed on a users PC to track where a user visits, how often, and what they do once they're there. They then scale this sample up to cover the estimated number of internet users and calculates a quick pages per user figure.

    Alright, there's a bit more to it than that, but that's it in simple terms. The biggest problem comes from users that don't have the toolbar, and that's the vast majority of internet users. Until either every user has the toolbar, or every site releases audited figures, it'll always be the best guess.

    This isn't in any way criticism of MSE or Martin himself. Martin has done a fantastic job with this site and, even if the figures from Alexa are a tad wobbly, getting in to the Top 100 means he's doing a damn fine job! Regardless of how it's measured, and what the margin of error is, being ranked towards the top is no accident.
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  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
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    I couldn't agree more Phil. Alexa is flawed - but is reasonably accurate. And the bigger the site is, the more accurate it is.

    This follows standard sampling logic - as in election polling - it doesn't take that many to give a decent sample in fact 1000 is seen as a good number for general election polls

    Alexa is of course effectively a polling service of web usage. Yet there are problems

    1. There are many more websites than election opinion polls - and the significance depends on the numbers of opinions. Thus if a part received 1 vote of 1000 in a poll it wouldn't be counted as significant. Yet if it received 150 its a pretty good estimate. Therefore in web polling the big sites results are more accurate.

    2. It is skewed towards those more likely to have the toolbar. This is firstly Americans, followed by other english speakers (in the worldwide rankings). However it also is probably fewer techies (as they don't like its spyware stuff) yet mainl wth regular web surfers rather than newbies

    There are other errors too - but then again all web stats I see, even the likes of Hitwise, miss out on some accuracy compared to the accurate web logs of the site.

    Alexa is a reasonable indicator and has the advantage its free for anyone to look at. Whether MSE is truthully 60th biggest, 91st biggest or 140th biggers - its still great that so many are saving money :)

    Martin :)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
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  • nick14me
    nick14me Posts: 104 Forumite
    Congratulations on this position but like the others I am very suprised that it isnt farther up the table
  • Andy_Davies
    MSE_Martin wrote:
    I couldn't agree more Phil. Alexa is flawed - but is reasonably accurate. And the bigger the site is, the more accurate it is.

    This follows standard sampling logic - as in election polling - it doesn't take that many to give a decent sample in fact 1000 is seen as a good number for general election polls

    Problem is though with standard sampling you aim to remove bias from the sample, this isn't possible with Alexa as the sample is self-selecting and may have huge bias built in.

    Alexa can also be 'gamed', a couple of years ago there was a online network in the UK that encouraged it's users to install the Alexa toolbar so the sites ranking would increase!

    Alexa concerns aside, I suspect you'd be in the top 100 as measured by visitors anyway...

  • lex
    lex Posts: 266 Forumite
    Woohoo! Just had a look and according to Alexa, moneysavingexpert is now at place 81 :T

    That's pretty impressive! Well done Martin! I'm particularly impressed that it is popular on it's own merit, rather than because you've ploughed hundreds of thousands of pounds into making it successful.

    Alexa :)
    Competition wins -
    May 09 - Horrid Henry book box set, 8GB ipod touch, Jan 10 - Creme Egg keyring, 4 Ripley's Believe it or not museum tickets! Feb 10 - Annabel Karmel snacks, Disney laptop, tumble tots back pack, tumble tots DVD, basket of fruit,
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  • KJF_2
    KJF_2 Posts: 6 Forumite
    Glad my eternal web-wandering has brought you joy! And once more, a greater share of the UK web-browsing-public are checking out MSE rather than the national lottery.

    Keep it up!
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