I don't know how quantcast ranks sites.
I don't know either (not that I am interested in it).
However quantcast itself was ranked
46th in the 2010 list of the World's Most Innovative Companieshttp://www.fastcompany.com/mic/2010
(just before Microsoft)
in the list of Web compamies:http://www.fastcompa...e-web-companies
The 70-employee company, already the de facto standard for measuring Web audiences, sifts through its mountain of data to determine who's clicking on ads, visiting sites, and buying products online. Then, it markets users that have the same characteristics to media buyers -- 9 of the top 10 in the U.S. are customers -- as well as CBS, ABC, and MTV Networks. The company plans to double in size this year.
The good thing is that also how Alexa works is a trade secret, and continuously changing (what the comapny marketing department likes to define "evolving") , so that not only there is no way to verify it's accuracy, but also historical data are not comparable:http://en.wikipedia..../Alexa_Internet
Accuracy of ranking by the Alexa Toolbar
Main article: Alexa Toolbar
Alexa ranks sites based on tracking information of users of its Alexa Toolbar for Internet Explorer and from integrated sidebars in Mozilla and Netscape.
There is some controversy over how representative Alexa's user base is of typical Internet behavior, especially for less trafficked sites. In 2007 Michael Arrington provided a few examples of relative Alexa ranking known to contradict data from comScore, including ranking YouTube ahead of Google.
On April 16, 2008, many users reported dramatic shifts in their Alexa rankings. Alexa confirmed this later in the day with an announcement that they had released the new Alexa ranking system, claiming that they now take into account more data sources "beyond Alexa Toolbar users".
Redesign and new statistics
On March 31, 2009, Alexa.com underwent a complete redesign with new metrics including: Pageviews per User, Bounce Rate, and Time on Site. In the following weeks they added new features including Demographics, Clickstream and Search Traffic stats.
Out of this page:http://www.mark8t.co...ease-your-rank/
I'll quote the relevant points:
The problems with Alexa are:
Why do you hear so much about Alexa and why is it being promoted so heavily by some e-marketer’s?
- Alexa does not get you much direct traffic (unless you get into the top 100). It gets mostly Ego searches from webmasters looking at their own domain.
- Limited reach because toolbar needs to be installed. Most people will remove due to concerns about spyware. If someone has the Alexa toolbar installed chances are they are a webmaster, who knows what, and why they are installing. The average Joe and Jane will uninstall Alexa when prompted by their anti-virus software.
- With a small sample audience minor changes in site traffic can represent huge changes in Alexa rating
- In simplest terms, Alexa is truly biased toward a webmaster audience
- Sorry to say, though, it’s mainly ignorance–most people don’t read the fine print about how the stats are being generated. The rankings aren’t worth much-except for ego.
- Most people see graphs and rankings and think automatically it’s legit. Numbers can’t lie can they? (Note sarcasm) We get that it’s hard to believe. I mean who wouldn’t be concerned when you go to Alexa.com and see certain sites, maybe competitors websites, higher than yours. You are competitive and want your siteÂ to be higher. But really, who cares about rank, if you don’t actually get more business?
- Another trick is the quick con of shady e-marketers by getting website owners to install the toolbar to inflate the stats by having them visit their own site, and sell the results back to them as being some kind of expert. People love numbers and graphs. Few ask questions on how the info is determined.
- Think of this, if we were pushing you to install the Alexa Toolbar, and we know you are a regular reader of this blog, then my Alexa rating would also rise (along with your site). In short, a pyramid scheme of Alexa ranking.
As often happens, you won't be able to say "Noone told me", I did and now you know.
P.S.: I see that Bill passed by, just wanted to say "Hi Mr. Gates, happy to see you here again".