If you want to compare the levels of traffic your site is getting against other sites such as competitors, you may use Alexa. Alexa measures traffic information by their overall popularity against all other websites. As you may expect, the big sites such as Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft appear right at the top. Just Chat ranks as the 224,382nd most popular site online, and as the sixth most popular chat site according to its directory.
Data supplied by Alexa should always be taken with a nice pinch of salt however, as it measures traffic only from users who have downloaded and installed the Alexa Toolbar. The Toolbar is popular amongst web developers and as a result, many web development related websites receive a stronger ranking as these are of more interest to Toolbar users.
I recently come across another site which works in a similar way to Alexa. Compete offers similar traffic statistics, but solely for US traffic. Even if your site is not US focussed, it can still be useful to compare your site against others using the built in comparision feature.
Compete doesn’t rely solely on surfers using their Toolbar – they also claim to collect information from opt-in panels, ISPs and ASPs. In this respect therefore, you might consider Compete to be a more reliable way of measuring your traffic levels.
Of course, at the end of the day you should be getting information on your traffic from your own site logs. However, when you want to learn more about the competition it can be very useful to use services such as Alexa and Compete – as I said in a previous article, you should always keep an eye on your competition. These services help you do just that.