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Introducing B-COP: A Methodology to Benchmark Competitive Online Performance - page 10 / 21

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competitor while our analysis indicates that they should have done so. Moreover, as point # 4

will elucidate, the interaction among the web sites is complicated and it is not clear if an

us/(us+them) would apply. Therefore, we advocate using a referent company for analysis and

then conducting the analysis from that company’s point of view.

4.

Identification of traffic directions:

One of the biggest factors that differentiates the Web from other content repositories is

that the content is connected through hyperlinks. Thus, online competition involves

characterizing traffic to and from sites. We categorize traffic among competitors online in four

ways-

    • a.

      Two-way: individuals who visit the subject site also visit the competitor’s site and vice versa. e.g. Individuals who visit Amazon.com visit ebay.com and vice versa.

    • b.

      To subject site: Individuals who visit a competitor’s site visit the subject site, but not vice versa. e.g. individuals who target.com visit amazon.com, but not vice versa.

    • c.

      From subject site: Individuals who visit the subject site visit the competitor’s site, but not vice versa. e.g. individuals who Amazon.com visit wal-mart.com, but not vice versa.

    • d.

      Tertiary: This is the most interesting category. In this case, individuals who visit the subject site do not visit such a site. Similarly, individuals who visit this site do not visit the subject site. However, individuals who visit an indirect competitor of the subject site visit this site. e.g. In the NYTimes.com case, individuals who visit NYTimes.com do not BBC.co.uk and individuals who visit BBC.co.uk do not visit NYTimes.com. However, individuals who visit CNN.com (a direct competitor of NYTimes.com) visit BBC.co.uk and those who visit BBC.co.uk visit CNN.com.

  • 5.

    Prepare RVP (Relative Rank Vs. Page View) Chart:

10

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