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Introducing B-COP: A Methodology to Benchmark Competitive Online Performance - page 8 / 21

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of the top 10 Nielsen//Net Ratings sites was 5.5 (axiomatically), the median rank of these sites on

Alexa.com was 6.5. Thus, overall, it would seem that the differences are not that large.

Importantly, from this limited analysis, we see that there is no systematic direction of bias- four

rank scores were higher on Nielsen//Net Ratings, five rank scores were higher on Alexa.com and

one was identical. However, it is possible for a site to be ranked very high on Nielsen//Net

Ratings and quite low on Alexa.com- see the example of Real.com in Table 1.

[Insert Table 1 About Here.]

THE B-COP METHODOLOGY

In this section, we identify the steps in applying B-COP-

1.

Identification of the subject company:

B-COP is developed for a company that is interested in benchmarking its traffic.

Therefore, the first step is to identify the company whose perspective will be taken for the

analysis. Managers may consider their own company, key competitors, partners and distributors

as potential candidates. We will call this company the “subject site” from now.

2.

Identification of ten competitors:

B-COP results in the identification of ten competitors. We have chosen the number ten to

provide a manageable list of competitors. As we will see soon, in some cases only a small subset

of the ten matters. To identify competitors, we identify the Alexa.com page for a company and

then study the related links (i.e., “people who visited this site also visited” links). These are

chosen as initial candidates for competitors. If some of the links represent sites that are not

relevant, we delete them. We also delete sites of the form http://auctions.yahoo.com to avoid

overstating of traffic. The list of sites that remain are labeled direct competitors.

8

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