Everyone wants to be number one in this game, who is the most popular, who gets the most eyeballs … who should get the big advertising bucks.
The MySpace website deemed a virtual clubhouse where teenagers bare details of their lives has eclipsed internet oldster Yahoo! as the most popular website in the United States, a research firm said on Tuesday.
Yahoo! rejected the claim as “misleading” because it ranked the search engine’s domains such as search, news, and e-mail separately instead of adding them together.
MySpace.com got more online visitors than the Yahoo! or Yahoo! Mail websites last week, according to Hitwise, an online intelligence service based in New York City.
For a while it seemed MySpace had beaten Yahoo! to top billing according to Hitwise but Yahoo! have boo-hooed a press release saying “nuh-uh, our hits are bigger than YOUR hits, pffffft”. Rumours of Yahoo! giving MySpace a wedgie can not be confirmed at this time.
As a representative of a company with a traffic statistics product I feel I am just about qualified to say they are both probably wrong. Or at least neither are right.
First of all Hitwise does not have access to all the data to be able to say that one site is the most popular on the internet, or for Americans, or whatever the actual claim is. So no-one can actually say categorically who is top dog.
Secondly if we are to allow Yahoo! to group all the sites in their network as one then we are not talking about a single destination anymore. It is like saying that Rupert Murdochs media empire is one destination. Even worse for web tracking is each host or domain visited would more than likely be seen as individual visits rather than visits in aggregate. That would make someone going from Yahoo! to Yahoo! property appear as more than one individual once visits are collated. Adding 2 and 2 in this case really ought to come out as 3.
But none of this matters, there is no need for the truth here, only a better argument. This is marketing and spin, and it is all very effective.
Would the average Joe know who Bill Gates was if he wasn’t the richest man in the world? There are billionaires hardly anyone has heard of but most people could name Bill Gates. Who is the second richest? … I will leave you to Google it, but I couldn’t say off the top of my head. That Ikea guy maybe? Some Saudi royal? Don’t know. See? Being number one counts for something, being number two not so much.
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