The other day I ran accross Nielson netrattings paying affiliates to find people to install their download.
Now if you want to show up ranked highly on nielson all you need to do is direct traffic to their download pages. Nielson claims that 45,000 -70,000 users in europe have their software installed. Extrapolating Internet usage of 700 million people who live in Europe based on a sample of 45k users is a bit of a reach.
Want to see all the sites spamming nielsons download?
Comscore and Nielson are nearly identical in how they operate, because different people distribute their applications they are often out by a factor of 10 from each other when it comes to estimating traffic. Every now and then they apply filters to try and lower the bias in the data. As in this new york times article Comscore changed its tracking system lately and Entrepreneur.com dropped from 7.6 million unique visitors to 2 million unique visitors.
Now there are peoplethat claim pageviews are dieing and shouldn’t be used as a measurement. I say it doesn’t matter, these companies have a fraction the install base of alexa and their accuracy isn’t even close to that of alexa. Why on earth are major corporations so stupid and paying these companies hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for data that isn’t even close to reality? Not only are these companies paying they are also basing their strategies and marketing plans on worthless data.