With over 1 million monthly unique visitors, Compete.com races past Alexa

On November 1st, 2006 we launched Compete.com

Less than a year later, in September 2007 for the first time more people visited Compete.com than Alexa (a Amazon owned online audience measurement company). It’s been a closely fought (& monitored) battle for supremacy since then.

In April 2008, 18 months after launch, Compete.com broke through, and is now clearly ahead of Alexa. It used to be a close battle. No longer. Compete.com continues to make me proud 🙂

Watch out for more great stuff to come from the Compete team in the near future. I hear they have a pretty big release cookin’

Compete.com races past Alexa with over 1 million monthly unique visitors

18 thoughts on “With over 1 million monthly unique visitors, Compete.com races past Alexa

  1. These visitor counts are cookie based numbers, which means that your claim about “people” is total bull. Divide the claimed visitor numbers by 2.5 and you’ll get the true number of people visiting. Let me see, that means 400,000 unique people visited compete.com — a free service supplying dubious statistics. Big deal. And you”re crowing about besting Alexa, another free loser. Laughable.

  2. These visitor counts are cookie based numbers, which means that your claim about “people” is total bull. Divide the claimed visitor numbers by 2.5 and you’ll get the true number of people visiting. Let me see, that means 400,000 unique people visited compete.com — a free service supplying dubious statistics. Big deal. And you”re crowing about besting Alexa, another free loser. Laughable.

  3. @Bill,

    Thanks for posting a comment. But, Compete doesn’t do direct measurement (ie. javascript tracking), therefore no cookies are in play.

    Compete has a diverse sample of 2M U.S. Internet users that have given it permission to analyze the web pages they visit and ask them questions via surveys.

    Compete also aggregates its sample data from 10+ sources, including U.S. ISP logs, ASP’s, toolbars, Panels, etc to form its 2 million person panel. Alexa, on the other hand, has a single source of data — its toolbar — so it’s very susceptible to bias. Also unlike Alexa, Compete goes through a rigorous panel selection and normalization process that involves an independent RDD survey, demographic scaling and extensive QA from Compete’s data operations team.

    The diversity of Compete’s data sources helps identify and eliminate biases that show up from time to time in individual data sources. The multi-source approach is a big point of differentiation — no one else in the market does it — transforming more than ten different data streams into a common format and then performing statistical projections across 2,000,000 people on a nightly basis.

    Follow this link to learn more about how Compete metrics are different compared to Alexa, comScore, Hitwise, Nielsen//NetRatings:

    http://www.compete.com/help#snp2

    Check out this interview with Guy Kawasaki about Compete for more in depth commentary –

    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/10/ten-questions-2.html

  4. @Bill,

    Thanks for posting a comment. But, Compete doesn’t do direct measurement (ie. javascript tracking), therefore no cookies are in play.

    Compete has a diverse sample of 2M U.S. Internet users that have given it permission to analyze the web pages they visit and ask them questions via surveys.

    Compete also aggregates its sample data from 10+ sources, including U.S. ISP logs, ASP’s, toolbars, Panels, etc to form its 2 million person panel. Alexa, on the other hand, has a single source of data — its toolbar — so it’s very susceptible to bias. Also unlike Alexa, Compete goes through a rigorous panel selection and normalization process that involves an independent RDD survey, demographic scaling and extensive QA from Compete’s data operations team.

    The diversity of Compete’s data sources helps identify and eliminate biases that show up from time to time in individual data sources. The multi-source approach is a big point of differentiation — no one else in the market does it — transforming more than ten different data streams into a common format and then performing statistical projections across 2,000,000 people on a nightly basis.

    Follow this link to learn more about how Compete metrics are different compared to Alexa, comScore, Hitwise, Nielsen//NetRatings:

    http://www.compete.com/help#snp2

    Check out this interview with Guy Kawasaki about Compete for more in depth commentary –

    http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/10/ten-questions-2.html

  5. I thisnk this is all “hocus pocus”. How Compete could possibly take ISP data and turn it into people data? How would they possibly know who in the household is using the computer whose data they receive from the ISP?

  6. I thisnk this is all “hocus pocus”. How Compete could possibly take ISP data and turn it into people data? How would they possibly know who in the household is using the computer whose data they receive from the ISP?

  7. @Bill, that prediction is from 2001!

    You may want to give Compete a second look 7 years on. I know for a fact that there are financial institutions and investors that are using Compete data in their models today — and that one experiment (that I know of) yielded an average error of +-5% across multiple companies and quarters of prediction work.

    Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc would not be paying Compete hundreds of thousands of dollars each year if the data was useless/not actionable.

  8. @Bill, that prediction is from 2001!

    You may want to give Compete a second look 7 years on. I know for a fact that there are financial institutions and investors that are using Compete data in their models today — and that one experiment (that I know of) yielded an average error of +-5% across multiple companies and quarters of prediction work.

    Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc would not be paying Compete hundreds of thousands of dollars each year if the data was useless/not actionable.

  9. I have three points I’d like to make: 1) An average error of 5% is huge when using data on which to base trading decisions. You’d lose your shirt. 2) You dismiss 2001 as being in the past (I’m well aware of that) without even addressing why Compete’s prediction of Amazon was was so wrong back then. 3) If Compete is so good, why are the likes of Google, MSN and Yahoo paying comScore many millions of dollars and Compete only “hundreds of thousands”?

  10. I have three points I’d like to make: 1) An average error of 5% is huge when using data on which to base trading decisions. You’d lose your shirt. 2) You dismiss 2001 as being in the past (I’m well aware of that) without even addressing why Compete’s prediction of Amazon was was so wrong back then. 3) If Compete is so good, why are the likes of Google, MSN and Yahoo paying comScore many millions of dollars and Compete only “hundreds of thousands”?

  11. @Bill, My responses:

    1) I’m not telling you or forcing you or anyone else to use the data. I however will highlight that financial institutions and investors are using Compete data today. People have figured out a way to use the data to their advantage. More power to them.

    2) Companies, methodologies, processes, businesses evolve over time – in this case 7 years. I’m sure Google Search wasn’t as good during their first year of operations, than 2 years, 3 years, etc on. You *may* want to give the data a second chance 7 years since you gave up on based on one data point. Completely up to you — not forcing you!

    I was not around Compete in 2001, and can not comment on specifics of what may have happened in 2001.

    3) Keep in mind that comScore has had the advantage of being around longer. Now why did MSN, etc even decide to take the budget they were spending on comScore, and start diverting it to Compete? – And continue to shift more and more of their budgets Compete’s way? hmmm.

  12. @Bill, My responses:

    1) I’m not telling you or forcing you or anyone else to use the data. I however will highlight that financial institutions and investors are using Compete data today. People have figured out a way to use the data to their advantage. More power to them.

    2) Companies, methodologies, processes, businesses evolve over time – in this case 7 years. I’m sure Google Search wasn’t as good during their first year of operations, than 2 years, 3 years, etc on. You *may* want to give the data a second chance 7 years since you gave up on based on one data point. Completely up to you — not forcing you!

    I was not around Compete in 2001, and can not comment on specifics of what may have happened in 2001.

    3) Keep in mind that comScore has had the advantage of being around longer. Now why did MSN, etc even decide to take the budget they were spending on comScore, and start diverting it to Compete? – And continue to shift more and more of their budgets Compete’s way? hmmm.

  13. comScore has the advantage of being around longer? It was founded in late 1999. Compete was founded just one year later in 2000. According to your data, Compete did $15 MM in revenue in 2007. IRI did $87 MM! At the comparable point in time (measured by years since founding), comScore did $66 MM. to Compete’s $15 MM. That’s a 4X greater revenue for comScore! There’s no question that comScore is far more successful. Incidentally, you cleverly ignored one of my earlier questions. Exactly how does Compete convert ISP machine-level data into people measures? Or toolbar data into people measures?

  14. comScore has the advantage of being around longer? It was founded in late 1999. Compete was founded just one year later in 2000. According to your data, Compete did $15 MM in revenue in 2007. IRI did $87 MM! At the comparable point in time (measured by years since founding), comScore did $66 MM. to Compete’s $15 MM. That’s a 4X greater revenue for comScore! There’s no question that comScore is far more successful. Incidentally, you cleverly ignored one of my earlier questions. Exactly how does Compete convert ISP machine-level data into people measures? Or toolbar data into people measures?

  15. @Bill, Compete is far more transparent than most companies that I know of in the space. I’m sure they will be more than happy to clarify any questions you may have on their methodology. I encourage you to contact Compete directly – membersupport@compete.com

    It was really 2003 that Compete started transforming its business to what it looks like today (that is when a new CEO, etc were brought in). Regarding success – if you look at market cap/revenue, comScore has absolutely been more successful. If you look at other metrics such as revenue per client, revenue per employee, etc. I *believe* Compete is well ahead. comScore ($77M+) also raised a lot more venture capital than Compete, I’m guessing they were more diluted at exit. Regardless, end of the day, comScore went public, and Compete was acquired. Both great outcomes.

    It is an exciting time for companies in the space, and it will be very interesting to observe how the industry evolves in the next few years. I know I’m going to be watching intently.

    btw – I’m somewhat amused and surprised that you stumbled onto this blog post, and your level of interest, given how you wrote off Compete 7 years ago :))

  16. @Bill, Compete is far more transparent than most companies that I know of in the space. I’m sure they will be more than happy to clarify any questions you may have on their methodology. I encourage you to contact Compete directly – membersupport@compete.com

    It was really 2003 that Compete started transforming its business to what it looks like today (that is when a new CEO, etc were brought in). Regarding success – if you look at market cap/revenue, comScore has absolutely been more successful. If you look at other metrics such as revenue per client, revenue per employee, etc. I *believe* Compete is well ahead. comScore ($77M+) also raised a lot more venture capital than Compete, I’m guessing they were more diluted at exit. Regardless, end of the day, comScore went public, and Compete was acquired. Both great outcomes.

    It is an exciting time for companies in the space, and it will be very interesting to observe how the industry evolves in the next few years. I know I’m going to be watching intently.

    btw – I’m somewhat amused and surprised that you stumbled onto this blog post, and your level of interest, given how you wrote off Compete 7 years ago :))

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