As most of you probably know, our daily traffic has been increasing steadily, and of course, it's of interest to us how we're doing compared to other similar services. There isn't anything quite like linkreferral, however, the closest class of sites would be 'traffic exchanges' and the most popular of these would be trafficswarm.com, trafficg.com, webbizinsider.com, and we'll throw in adlandpro.com, a service with multiple traffic building offerings like our own.
There are a few third party tracking services, alexa.com, quantcast.com and compete.com, who estimate website traffic, which all base their ranking statistics on a combination of toolbar users and ISP and/or panel data. (yes, even Alexa has recently incorporated others sources, which has given them more accurate results, although has caused a fundamental change in their rankings, confusing many site owners).
so, how are we doing? Well, according to Alexa's new ranking methodology, we're steadily climbing and ranked above all others at #3544 in the world, out of 20+ million that they track, while the other traffic exchange sites are tanking.
Is this really accurate? Well, the fact is Alexa is still tweaking the ranking criteria, thus why you see the inconsistent ranking of the other sites. Why is this happening and why the change in the ranking criteria? Alexa used to use only sampling from their toolbar users which created an inherent flaw. The sampling of internet users they could track were only those that downloaded the 'alexa toolbar' and so create a bias in the sample towards,
a) people who are exposed to alexa.com (generally U.S. visitors)
b) people that cared about alexa rankings such as site owners
c) computer operating systems and browsers that supported the toolbar
This resulted in sites that catered towards site owners such as hosting sites, web statistics sites, domain registration sites and yes, traffic building sites, with alexa rankings far higher than was justified, as well as international sites being underestimated. once they get their algorithm set, you won't see such 'haywire results' and you'll see a steadier, truer rank for all sites. The one thing the graph above says is that we are indeed different than traffic exchange sites, as our user base must be broader than other traffic building sites (not just all site owners, and a diverse international representation) as our ranking has been pretty steady during this tweaking...
let's look at quantcast.com, which also uses 'panel-based' estimates, but they add an extra dimension, which is simply to ask sites admins to allow a tracking code on their pages, to accurately count the data. Many popular sites have agreed and get detailed statistics as a result. Our rank is #2730 out of 20+ million sites for which they have stats, and that number is based on how we rank using only numbers from U.S. users.
The detailed statistics for our site is shown at http://www.quantcast.com/linkreferral.com, very accurate and interesting as again, this is real-time data being recorded from the site (the only question is what do they consider a visitor, a page view, etc...). It's difficult to compare our results to the other traffic exchange sites, as they have not participated in the direct measurement program, and so their stats are only estimates, (and much lower numbers).
the third tracking system is compete.com, which is tracking 1/2 million of the most popular domains on the web. The numbers themselves are not terribly accurate (certainly lower than our actual daily traffic, as more accurately recorded by quantcast), however, in terms of comparison and relative growth over time, I think it portrays the sites most accurately,
Basically it shows we are the most popular traffic building service, and growing steadily thanks to your support, while other traffic building sites are treading water. I suggest you try out these various tracking services and punch in your own website, and see what it comes up with...