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New York Times article on Web traffic

Site traffic: it’s something all our clients ask us about.

The New York Times just wrote an article about the difficulty of determining audience traffic numbers from outside an organization vs. that organization’s internal numbers.

How many people visited Style.com, the online home of Vogue and W magazines, last month? Was it 421,000, or, more optimistically, 497,000? Or was the real number more than three times higher, perhaps 1.8 million?

The answer—which may be any, or none, of the above—is a critical one for Condé Nast, which owns the site, and for companies like Ralph Lauren, which pay to advertise there. Condé Nast’s internal count “1.8 million” was much higher than the tally by ComScore “421,000” or Nielsen/NetRatings “497,000”, whose numbers are used to help set advertising rates, and the discrepancies have created a good deal of friction.

The If you’re too small to show up in Alexa or NetRatings, it’s even harder know if your numbers are accurate.

But we recommend Stat Counter, as an easy-to-use ballpark number that’s seemed accurate in our tests.

If you have questions about your site’s traffic numbers, let us know and we’ll be happy to explain them to you, or to set up ways to verify that your numbers are correct, whatever the source.

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