Posted March 23, 2007 7:01 pm by with 2 comments

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It’s no secret that every ratings service has different numbers for search engine market shares, site visits, and just about any other metric out there. What to do?

We ask Danny Sullivan. (I mean, DUH. Who else would you ask?) Danny has a set of graphs showing the trends over the last year from comScore, Hitwise, Nielsen and Compete.

So what are the conclusions? While there’s a relatively huge spread on the percentage, the overall slow upward trend is universal for Google. Ask and AOL don’t show significant differences either.

But Yahoo and Live are a different story. For Yahoo, comScore and Hitwise hold steady but Nielsen and Compete show a dip in the last few months. Live/MSN is almost the opposite.

We may not be able to conclusively decide which service is most accurate, but the comparison helps to illustrate general trends among reporting services. This might raise more questions than it answers, but be sure to check out the full article and pretty graphs over at Search Engine Land!

  • The question is whether the results have any sort of bias in them.

    For example, our household is part of the Neilsen panel for Internet activity. The way they monitor our browsing patterns is through a small program that lives on your PC and reports back on what sites you visits. HOWEVER .. I’m only aware of a Windows version of this program which begs this question .. is this really representative of the Internet at a whole?

  • You might also want to look at for more affordable and yet more comprehensive online marketing intelligence option, especially for affiliate networks and SEO purposes. Oh, and you might also want to know that Syntryx reports will include contact details and what site/network each prospect is already working with. I don’t think any other supplier in this field provides that type of rich info on over 25 million sites.