Doubts Arise About Web Traffic Tracking

Huge gaps in audience estimates are stunting advertising growth
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Oct 22, 2007 12:42 PM CDT
As in-house counting of web traffic continues to vary from the official counts from independent verifiers, some complain that the uncertainty has stunted online advertising. Individual users may disagree.   (Wikimedia Commons)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – If you think the internet makes tracking audience numbers any easier, think again. Media companies sometimes report millions more online visitors to their sites than tracking companies like Nielsen—because they use different measurements—and the gap makes online advertisers queasy. It's preventing the industry from growing as quickly as it could, the Times reports.

The internet may allow recording of a specific number of visits to a site, but tracking individual visitors is a lot trickier. Just one example: Media groups accuse ratings companies of underestimating visitors who use the Web from work. One researcher says of the internet: "People keep talking about it as much more accountable than other media, but we're not finding that to be the case yet."