Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Compete Aquired

Mashable reports Compete Acquired by TNS for $75 Million. Compete offers free public web metrics, like Quantcast. Unlike Alexa, in that it doesn't suck.

I predict that in five years either Compete and Quantcast will be purchased by Google, and the new company will *replace* Nielsen/Net Ratings and comScore. Information wants to be free, and the industry desperately needs a trusted third party to step in so we can all start comparing traffic using the same measuring stick. Mergers and acquisitions rely on this data, and beyond the top 10 sites, Nielsen and comScore methodologies can't see through the data storm.

The survivor will combine data that works by getting anonymized data from a significant portion of ISPs, like HitWise does, and data gathered from javascript that can be copied and pasted onto your website -- does this part sound like Google Analytics to anyone? Google also has the peering relationship with ISPs to get the first part done. And they have the "preventing fraud" chops to get it done right.

Nielsen will not be trusted any more then it currently is (not a lot) and it's Golden Age has past. comScore hasn't shown it can do a better job. Long live {insert successor here}!

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