What Web Numbers are Real?

Snagged this off of Dr.Newmark’s blog (now in blogroll), as it involves web metrics:

Web Numbers: What’s Real?
Essentially, the idea is you can’t trust the numbers of so-called external web metric rating services. I actually had messed around with the one called Alexa last year as I was trying to look at Lenovo compared to other PC vendors and was convinced it was bogus. Looks like other folks feel the same way.

So, how would you go about gauging sites, especially when trying to allocate ad dollars etc?

Should there be some sort of official, universally accepted standards that all companies adhere to in determining true traffic? Like SEC accounting rules for Web Metrics? How bought a federally mandated web metrics tag for all sites?! Maybe some crazy alogrithm that can be based on Google searches or something, since they essentially run the web now. Not sure what the answer would be, but it’ll probably end up as another highly questionable reach calculation like the ones they’ve used forever with tv and radio.


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