Hitwise recently sold for hundreds of millions, and comscore is looking to do an IPO. From what i’ve been hearing everyone is trying to cash out as fast as they can.
1. Comscore and nielsons numbers often differ by a factor of 10. Nielson is so pathetic they often rank 1 page spam sites in the top 5 dating sites in the US. The numbers these companies release are often completely meaningless and easilly gamed. As shown here. http://www.benedelman.org/news/050707-1.html
2. The numbers from these firms have no context. If you look at compete.com’s numbers it clearly shows there is absolutely no relationship between a sites usage and the number of unique monthly visitors it has. If you want to game comscore and become a top 50 site in the US, just spend $10,000 a month on spyware.
I’ve now stopped sending 10’s of thousands a year on these services as the data is pretty much useless, compared to compete.com. From now on I am going to stick to using compete.com as they actually have relevant data that has some kind of context. Not only can I see the uniques, actual monthly visitor counts, pageview stats etc etc but I can see that on a daily basis. Why on earth is anyone going to pay comscore $60,000 a year for 12 reports that basically amount to a “light version” of compete.com which happens to be free?
While comscore still has some data that compete doesn’t have such as clickstream data, you can get the same info from some providers for a few hundred dollars a year creating a mashup with compete.com that blows away any of these extremely expensive paid services.