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it can be a tough job to judge a website’s real value and reach, when considering a cooperation or an application or trying to judge a competitor. i just stumbled across a useful services called metrics market, so i thought i’d put a list together with all assessment tools i use in such cases, in no particular order.

  • alexa internet: alexa, a service meanwhile swallowed by amazon, ranks usage data from their toolbar into a pretty accurate worldwide usage ranking. just type in any URL into their search box and see what happens. i find alexa’s view two years back in time and the comparation feature particularily useful, that way you’re not limited to snapshots. for example in this comparation between cnn.com and bbc.co.uk you can see how the iraq conflict made bbc catch up. as usual, also alexa ranking can get spammed and manipulated, so make sure to back alexa data with other sources.
  • metrics market: the new zealand based company metrics market offers a free traffic checker which is supposedly based on data of 2 million users. feedback from the webmaster community suggests that data are surprisingly accurate.
  • google page rank: search engines use “link popularity” in their rankings, i.e. a page many links point to is ranked higher. google has developed an advanced link popularity algorithm that takes into account the link popularity of the linking pages as well, called “page rank”. after hundreds of iterations each page of the web receives a rank number which stays undisclosed. however, page rank is clustered into 11 groups – PR0 to PR10 – that are displayed on the google toolbar for IE on windows. everything below PR4 is quite low, PR7+ usually is held only by large or very popular sites. the club of PR10 sites is very exclusive, with only a handful of sites. if a website’s frontpage has PR0 (=white bar) despite not being new or ultra-small this is because it has been banned by google for using forbidden optimization techniques.
    if you don’t use IE or windows you can see an approximate page rank for all sites that are listed in the ODP graphically displayed in the google directory.
    in practice, page rank is probably the best way to check a site’s relevance.

    update june 2004: now page rank can be checked on firefox (also linux and mac).

  • yahoo web rank: similarily yahoo calculates a “web rank”, which to my knowledge isn’t as accurate and useful as page rank. you can check it with yahoo’s toolbar or with this web rank checker.
  • national auditors: in most countries similar to print auditors associations measure web traffic by the means of counting pixels. in their published data you can usually find a country’s main players. examples are ABC electonic for UK, IVW online for germany, OJD for spain (online data here – hard to find on site), ÖWA for austria, etc. search for keywords such as “circulation”, “auditing”, “auditor”, “web, “traffic”, etc. in conjunction with the country in question. you can also check out the members of the IFABC and see if some of them also do web auditing. in addition to auditors some traffic analysts estimate traffic data and publish excerpts, for example nielsen netratings.
  • a site’s past: not exactly about traffic, reach or link popularity but also an interesting way to check a site’s background: look it up in the WayBackMachine which stores snapshots of websites from the past.

obviously, there are also pay-for ways to assess websites, i’m listing just the free ones.


 

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3 Comments
#41 tfx says on October 6, 2004 at 10:27 am
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nice site!

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#38941 Recherchehilfe zur Reichweite von Websites · Helge's Blog says on February 6, 2008 at 2:39 pm
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[…] auch ein ähnliches Posting aus 2004 (z.T. veraltet): How to judge a website’s reach. Tags: No Tags Categories: Main Blog, […]

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#337314 related link says on August 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm
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Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Regardless, just wanted to say superb blog!

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