Online Advertising: a Problem of Plenty

I ran across this article from BtoBOnline which talks about how much data online advertising generates and discuses some ways of dealing with and tracking the data. Although the article is not terribly detailed, it does mention Quantcast, a company I have written about before.
Quantcast basically has a proprietary way of tracking traffic of websites, widgets and more. It is a free service which allows you to see the United States traffic of over 20 million websites.
The service also ranks all sites – the lower the number the better. For example TMCnet is ranked in the top 3,708 sites according to the service. Yahoo! ranks number 1.

Quantcast traffic coupled with Alexa allows you to get a good idea of how a company’s traffic ranks in comparison to all other sites.
Personally I am happy there are more and more sites allowing access to free competitive information which allows companies to see how they are doing with respect to others.
Here is an example:
Quantcast: Unique US Monthly Visitors
3.8 Million
Burger King
Alexa is certainly a wonderful tool but difficult to interpret because it becomes exponentially more difficult to rank as you get closer to the number one spot which is occupied by Yahoo!
At least with Quantcast you can compare the monthly unique United States users of sites and immediately understand how they compare.
Here is a quote from the article worth reading:
Panelists from the major online measurement firms, including comScore Networks, Hitwise, Nielsen Online and Quantcast Corp., a new entrant, discussed the differences and merits of both panel-based and server-based, or site-centric, data, in a day filled with more questions than answers. Some measurement companies are working toward a hybrid model that incorporates both types of data.
“We combine panels and pixels,” said Konrad Feldman, CEO of Quantcast. “I think the future is one in which the industry collaborates to get data that everyone can agree on. People want simplicity in the way they buy media.”

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