Stats, numbers, high scores, weight lifting, golf handicap … the number doesn’t matter, it’s how well you improve.
I am hesitant to link to the post that inspired me to write this. Unfortunately the original thread is one of those name-calling-mud-slinging-blog-punch-ups that do nobody any good, least of all the readers. Inside the comments though there were one or two intelligent quotes, some sanity in a sea of bs.
The argument was about one party mentioning in passing their headline traffic figure and the other party calling them out on it. Party A obviously wanted to make an impression while basing the figure on a supportable stat taken from their (comprehensive) suite of measurement tools. And we all know how much stats packages can vary in their assessment. Fair enough right? Well the other guy decides he sees a flaw and uses other (dodgy) measures to point out what he considers … uh … an inaccuracy.
Lighten up guys! Web stat numbers matter when
- You are comparing your performance against your own performance
- You are attracting advertisers or considering advertising
They are not for competitors (regardless of if they consider you a competitor or not) to use as a club to beat you with and are not to be taken as gospel. There isn’t an IRS of web traffic, you do not need to be accurate down to the Nth visitor.
Concern with others traffic figures smacks of insecurity.
- Where is your traffic relative to last month, last year?
- What makes traffic increase, go down?
- Is there anything that looks promising that we could do more of?
- What aren’t we doing that might work?
- How are we viewed outside of the echo-chamber?
Just like at the gym, it is your own performance you need to be concerned with, not the guy on the next rack who looks like Arnie.