I was going about my business, checking my business site, and decided I wanted to compare it to some other sites that do some of the same types of functions I do in my main business. Google Rankings is my preferred tool because I can compare search terms against each other to see where we all rank for those terms.

After doing that for a few sites, I realized that, on my main site, something had caught my eye. So I went back to my site, and at the bottom I noticed something called “Compete” that I really hadn’t paid much attention to before, even though it shows up right next to this tracking for Alexa. No, I don’t have the Alexa toolbar; I use a Firefox plugin called SearchStatus, which tells me my Google page rank, my Alexa rank, and this Compete Rank.

The thing is, on my business site, which is ranked nicely, it said I didn’t have any Compete rank at all; that didn’t sound quite right, but at the same time, I didn’t know what it was. So I went to the site, and I see it’s a lot like Alexa. I decided to do a comparison of my site with a couple other sites that are in the same industry as mine. What it came up with was disturbing. It showed that, in the year between last July and this July, I only had 714 visitors. Since I know that’s not accurate, nowhere close to accurate, I’m pretty much discounting it. However, it also said people find my site through the search term “backing an animal into a corner“; what the heck is that? It did say that it didn’t have much information on any of the sites, and recommended that I load its toolbar; that’s the same thing Alexa asks for.

Most SEO people discount Alexa because it’s rankings seem to be skewed towards people who download and use their toolbar. It would seem to be the same thing for Compete. But I at least have an Alexa ranking; one would hope so, after 6 years on the web and all the optimizing I’ve done on the site. To not even be included in Compete rank, well, that’s almost insulting. I did learn, through research, that it only compares U.S. companies against each other; that makes me feel even worse.

No, I’m not going to be loading toolbars just to get rankings. I loaded Google Toolbar because I use Google, but I also know it had no effect on my page rank. I will continue to use SearchStatus, mainly because it doesn’t hurt to see figures of any kind, but I won’t be thinking much about Compete any time soon. By the way, this blog even has a rank, and I only started it in December; sheesh! Compete seems more incomplete to me.