Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yelp API,, Quantcast

Yelp is doing well, but not as well as would have you believe. In fact, this might be the single biggest fail I have observed. In most cases, Compete tends to quite accurate - and a good way to estimate traffic to third party websites - but in the case of Yelp, they are wildly off. Quantcast, Alexa, and various anecdotal sources peg Yelp traffic at a healthy ~3.5M monthly uniques - nowhere close to the ~15M shown by Compete. Compete uses a mixture of data from toolbars, panels, and ISP log samples to compute their traffic estimates. Yelp has an API - what Compete seems to have managed to do is pull their ISP data sample from directly between Yelp and a large consumer of the Yelp API. 'ISP data' always sounds very robust compared to an audience panel or toolbar data - but it's important to remember that it's only a sample - not a 'full set' of ISP data - and is just as susceptible to sample bias as data collected any other way.

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