Compare your site traffic

by Martin Reed on 14 April 2007 in Snippets

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.

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{ 7 comments }

Ottawa Sales May 9, 2007 at 4:20 am

Hey… found your blog through the POF blog. I wasn’t aware that Compete just has US statistics. Good to know – thanks.

Justin
http://www.citysales.ca

Martin Reed May 9, 2007 at 10:13 am

Hi Justin – welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment. I am glad the article was useful for you – finding Compete was like a revelation for me!

Visit Southall November 12, 2007 at 11:23 am

Simply installing the Alexa Toolbar has greatly improved my ranking but I feel it provides no useful comparison info.
Compete does not provide me with any info.

Is there no way of “very roughly estimating” the competitors real traffic against their imaginary listed traffic?

Martin Reed - Blog Author November 12, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Visit Southall – I don’t think there are any reliable indicators of a competitor’s real traffic levels. If your competitor is a community website you can get an idea of their traffic levels based on the activity and member count within the community itself.

You can also try out some research into search engine placements for popular terms – if they rank well you may assume they get a good amount of traffic from those specific terms.

Karn Patel April 24, 2008 at 1:31 am

I believe that google analytics is getting into the action on this. They created something that lets you compare your stats to other sites with similar content. Sounds pretty nice but is still in beta.

Martin Reed - Blog Author April 25, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Karn – Sounds interesting, I look forward to giving it a good test run once it is out of beta!

Chad December 21, 2008 at 5:40 am

I just looked up my info on alexa and I was able to find who my biggest competitors are, and where I am ranking as well.

Thanks,
Great Tool
Chad