Net ranking numbers don\'t tell whole story


CNET has a very Interesting Story on those net ranking we all read so much about. I\'ve always questions many of these ratings, especially Statmarket, which seems to have a very biased sample. If you ever read the rankings, check out This Story

Experts blame the problem in part on the fact that there are several large ranking companies, primarily Media Metrix and Nielsen/NetRatings, and each company calculates rankings differently. For other media, one large ranking company provides undisputed data: Nielsen for television, Arbitron for radio and the Audit Bureau of Circulation for many print publications.Media Metrix uses a sample of more than 100,000 Internet surfers in nine countries, including 55,000 in the United States. PC Data has about 120,000 people worldwide. Nielsen/NetRatings has 150,000 sample Internet users in 15 countries, with 65,000 in the United States--the largest Internet media research sample.

To properly measure traffic on the Web, according to MacEvoy\'s report, companies may need to sample as many as 1 million Internet users.

Rankings companies say consolidation will pare the industry until one giant ranking company emerges. They also insist that the industry is definitely headed toward a unified standard.

But who creates the standard and which company executes it is a fierce battle. No company wants to disclose its methodology, and no company wants to admit it is redundant.

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