Google has seven direct competitors- Yahoo.com, MSN.com, Netscape.com, Ask.com, Lycos.com, Altavista.com, and Microsoft.com. Its indirect competitors are AOL.com, Go.com, and Myway.com.
As shown in Figure 3b, consumers who visit Google.com also visit Yahoo.com, MSN.com, Netscape.com, Ask.com and Lycos.com and vice versa. However, consumers who visit Altavista.com and Microsoft.com do not visit Google.com. AOL.com and Myway.com are tertiary competitors. [Insert Figures 3a and 3b About Here.] THE BOTTOM LINE In this article, we have suggested that managers use the B-COP methodology to get an
overview of their online competition using publicly-available, free traffic data. Managers who
use B-COP will be able to identify their online competitors and benchmark their performance
against them. This will allow them to take specific actions to counter their key rivals and ensure
long-term success online.
Once again, we caution managers about the limitations of this methodology. Readers
must keep in mind the limitations of the Alexa toolbar as well as incorporate external sources
and managerial judgment while benchmarking online performance. Commerce sites should try
to meld this with conversion rate data that is available from other vendors.
With over eight billion pages competing for attention, the World Wide Web is an intense
competitive environment. Competition on the Internet is fierce. Getting a reliable flow of traffic
to one’s web site is the first step towards success. It is our hope that managers who use B-COP
will be better equipped to succeed in this competitive environment.