Then, we invoke the Alexa.com page for each of the direct competitors and once again
study the “related links”. Our interest here is in investigating whom the direct competitors
compete with. A competitor of a competitor is counted as an indirect competitor. Frequently,
we find that indirect competition is strong and ignoring it leads to misleading results.
Then, we compile all direct and indirect competitors into a list. The top ten members of
this list in terms of traffic rank over the last 3 months are chosen as the competitors of the
company. This approach allows us to identify competitors based on actual data.
Computing absolute and relative ranks, reach and page views. .
We calculate the traffic rank for each of the ten competitors. Relative ranks are
calculated by dividing a competitor’s absolute rank by the subject company’s absolute rank. For
instance, if we are benchmarking Google’s competition, the relative rank of Yahoo is given by
absolute rank of Yahoo/absolute rank of Google. A relative rank higher than the numeric value 1
is an indication of a strong competitor. For example, in the Amazon.com case study provided
below you will find eBay’s relative rank is 1.9 indicating that it is stronger. A relative rank less
than 1 is an indication of a weak competitor. Similar calculations are performed for reach and
page views. The formulas are shown below-
Relative Rank = Subject Absolute Rank / Competitor Absolute Rank.
Relative Strength = Competitor Reach / Subject Reach
Relative Page Views = Competitor Page Views / Subject Page Views
Usually, competitiveness among brands is defined using an us/(us+them) index. Our
point is that doing that on the Internet is not always effective since competitive boundaries are
amorphous. There is no clear way of identifying a universal set of competitors even- for
instance, the managers at New York Times may not have considered BBC.co.uk as an important