Austrian Webanalytics war

Recent webanalytics industry bashing in the US is nothing compared to Austrias latest webanalytics war.The ÖWA is Austrias webanalytics association (founded in 1998). The goals of the organization are the promotion of the online industry and the research of objective and comparable online data. The data is published each month and the basic guideline for any online marketer. Comparable with Hitwise, Comscore, Nielsen... but not privately held. Wolfgang Fellner, publisher of the Österreich newspaper & website, which can be compared to AM or METRO, now sued the ÖWA, because the organziation suddenly changed their measurement rules and reporting. Wellner believes that there is a substantially unequal treatment and that some members of the organization used their membership to influence numbers and protect their position in the online news market. Since Fellners allegations and complaint, the ÖWA decided no to publish any numbers for February 2007. Also the VÖZ, Austrias (print) newspaper organzation, hesitates to accept the free "Österreich" newspaper as a member.

It's really funny to see how worldwide people complaint about webanalytics accuracy and that even an official independant organization seems to screw up when member interests are threatend.

My tip to Austrian fellows: Work together with a privately held company like Hitwise, Comscore, Nielsen, Compete, Quantcast.... and let them do the job. Double-check the data with a standardized in-house webanalytics tool. An organization that uses Google Analytics on their own page doesn't seem to look very trustworthy.

Also history shows that protecting an industry won't pay of in the long run.