|It seems that Compete.com gained some traction
and became a serious competitor to the Alexa tool.
Compete.com provides premium web metrics for each of the top one million web sites,
featuring precise traffic snapshots for free. More than 150,000 people were visiting
the site and 300,000 site snapshots so far. According to the CEO of Top10 Media Inc.
"...Compete.com's SnapShot is more reliable than other online data sources because it
uses the most thorough and unbiased methodology in the industry. Quite simply, Compete's metrics are the best on the Web."
So let's see how Compete collects the data:
"People are recruited to join Compete's member community [via toolbar] through www.compete.com/, the first website to help consumers personally benefit from clicksharing. Consumer data is also licensed from national ISPs and ASPs. This multi-source data collection methodology sets the industry standard for representative and actionable data."
This is an interesting approach to collect data and certainly a good idea to merge user
data via toolbar (like Alexa) and data from ISPs And ASPs (like Hitwise).
It is still not 100% convincing, b/c the data can easily be manipulated.
Especially tech related sites will have higher rankings than non-tech websites.
One example: In Compete's recent press release it is mentioned that the Techcrunch
website is one of the top requested SnapShots at Compete.com.
This is not really astonishing b/c Techcrunch does not only run advertising of Compete on their site,
but also wrote articles with a link to Compete.com (that included Techcrunch as their snapshot).
Other top snapshots were tech related sites like Seobook or Digg, which also had stories covering
Compete.com in articles on their site.
As a result I think Compete.com is a good and certainly advanced approach, but it is also vulnerable to flaws unless Compete.com finds a way to countersteer.
Update: T.J Mahony published their success story on the corporate Compete blog. He also added some comments, which made it clear, that the Techcrunch ads are responsible for the high Techcrunch Snapshot requests.