Techcrunch recently published a post about “The Widget Kings” which promoted the comScore widget matrix as a symbol of rank among widget manufacturers. We did a little research on the accuracy of these numbers – to make a long story short; we found the numbers entirely inaccurate and incomplete as ranking of widget vendors.
It’s difficult enough to track traffic accurately on the internet, much less widgets, so we weren't surprised to see some inconsistencies; it is to be expected when reports like these are first generated. But when the numbers are deceptive and wrong, the report loses all credibility as an independent ranking of widget vendors.
Let’s compare the list in April from the report just released in November. For our analysis, we looked into the changes in the standings and tried to validate their statistics with Compete and Alexa. While we appreciate that comScore, Compete and Alexa don't all track the same way, we were hoping these sites could at least get a sense of whether these other sites might show traffic increasing or decreasing over that time period.
Here are the things that jump out immediately.
Again, traffic is difficult to measure, but at the very least, both Compete and Alexa point to flat growth, not an 11% loss in audience.
2) Slide.com dropped from 117.1 million uniques to 39 million. Sounds like they are in trouble? Not according to Alexa and Compete.
3) Musicplaylist.us at 15 million uniques in 4/07 and 11/07…
How does this work? Traffic to musicplaylist looks to be in a freefall.
I could go on – none of the numbers seem to make sense. Is comScore playing a shell game for their paying clients? Or is this a true third party representation of widget traffic?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!