Posted August 22, 2011 6:51 am by with 2 comments

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Name three of the most maligned companies when it comes to their Internet efforts or their overall Internet image. Many would say that Yahoo, Aol and Microsoft are fair responses.

With Yahoo it just seems that they can’t keep out of their own way. Aol it’s just one bit of bad news after another interspersed with big purchases (which likely account for most of the traffic!) and with Microsoft there is more of a snicker in the industry whenever Microsoft and Internet are used in the same sentence.

So all that negativity may be warranted but according to comScore, if you think visitors equal success then these companies are more than OK.

Of course the gotcha in these numbers is that the four of the first 5 places go to companies that traffic includes all of their many sites.

In fact, of the top 5 web properties when based on unique visitors in July 2011 only Facebook is a single site, the rest are an aggregate number of many, many different web destinations. As a measurement then is this even fair?

This is just another case that goes to show that you have to be careful which metrics you choose to determine the best and the brightest of anything. No one metric usually tells the whole story. Also, make sure which parts of the whole are really performing before you hand over any victories to anyone. It may look nice to aggregate your many holdings to show traffic but it’s not a real measure of success by any means.

Heck, in this case if one metric gave us who were the top performers in the Internet space, we would have to say Yahoo, Aol and Microsoft. Bet you haven’t heard the words “Top Performers” and any of those three company names in the same sentence and felt it was legit recently.

So how do you view the unique visitor metric in this case? Is it a top performer or can it be a top misleader?

  • It’s a metric that has its values and disadvantages, like all other metrics. It’s better to be sure of how many unique visitors you think you have than to guess wildly; but if you don’t do something with that estimate then it’s not a very useful number.

  • Wow! AOL and Microsoft on the top 5 list.