Is this a top ten technology site in NZ?

techsites According to Mauricio, this is Nielsen’s list of the top 10 technology websites in New Zealand. However, there are two problems with this list:

  • Nielsen only lists the sites that pay them for the pleasure of being listed.
  • The measurement system that Nielsen use is horrifically broken, and consistently under-reports traffic by almost half.

If you believe Nielsen, and compare my Google Analytics and Quantcast stats (I run about 1200-1500 unique New Zealand visitors per week), it would put me squarely inside Nielsen’s top 10. Yay!

If only advertisers would listen to sources other than Nielsen eh? A guy can dream.


  1. In defence of Nielsen since I used to work for them…

    Google Analytics, Quantcast and Nielsen Online all use a very similar for of tracking by using a Javascript to call a 1×1 pixel image from the tracking server. There are however differences:

    – I think Nielsen uses a third party cookie whereas GA uses first party. Using a third party cookie allows analysis of duplication (how many users went to site x and y over a given time period).
    – During the processing the data is scrubbed for ‘fraud detection’. The thresholds between GA and Nielsen could be quite different.
    – There could be differences in how they calculate “Unique Visitor”, “Unique Browser” and “People”.
    – Tech sites will have a bigger difference due to the tech savvy audience blocking things way more.
    – On the payment front you are right – You don’t pay you don’t play. It is a business model that has worked to date and collecting data is not cheap. They do have local data collection servers around the world which costs. In saying that however I can see Quantcast taking over if they expand their offering enough though. Time will tell how long they can keep putting their prices up.

    So in short if you are comparing Apples with Apples you are fine. Just don’t compare GA to Nielsen to get a measure of traffic. And if Quantcast starts supplying an API then maybe you can start your own Market Intelligence for the Tech sector in NZ.

    1. Good info Glen thanks. I can’t understand how Nielsen it can be so far out of wack though. +/- 10% maybe, but -50%?

      I’ll keep hunting for that API.

  2. As mentioned on Twitter, my site would also qualify for the top ten on the basis of the numbers show – although right at the bottom. I’m scoring a little over a 1000 uniques every week.

    When I worked for Fairfax I noticed my publication did better on Nielsen than on Google Analytics, but the other publications in our group got better scores on Google.

    Neither the Google nor Nielsen scores came close to the numbers on our own web log.

    I’m guessing, but I think this is because the code used by Google and Nielsen sits at the bottom of the web page – so a pageload that halts or stalls before completing isn’t counted where the web log would count the page as served.

    If that’s true, I wonder why my site gets better numbers on Google Analytics than it does from’s stats.

    Realistically, these numbers are all a bit loose and are only really any use for showing trends.

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