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“Compete” Rank; I’m Not Impressed

Posted by on Aug 24, 2008

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.

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Sounds a bit sus to me Mitch. I think that at times as bloggers we go a little to far to get so called rankings. I prefer hits from the search engines and I don’t see how ranking helps this. I think it is more to do with keywords and the way we structure our titles and posts.

Sires last blog post..Do You Want More People Commenting On Your Blog?

August 24th, 2008 | 1:36 AM

Actually, in this case I’m not as worried about the blog as I am about my main page and my business competition in healthcare. I want to make sure I’m competing with the big guys, and for the most part I think I do.

August 24th, 2008 | 1:41 AM
John Dilbeck:

Mitch, I don’t understand why you are averse to loading the Alexa or Compete toolbars.

They gather information about sites based on visits by people with these toolbars installed. As far as I know, neither service uses a spider, which would only be effective in indexing a site. It wouldn’t offer any information about visitors.

I think it’s important for every webmaster to have the Alexa toolbar installed. Not only are you informing Alexa about your visits to your site, but you’ll also letting them know when you visit other sites.

Compete isn’t on my radar, so I don’t really have any thoughts about them or their rankings of our sites.

I think you can take the Alexa rankings with a grain of salt, but I do believe they offer a reasonable comparison between sites. Results are skewed in favor of sites that involve things of interest to webmasters, lensmasters, and bloggers, however, because we are more likely to have the toolbar installed.

But, our toolbars also register traffic for all the other sites we visit, even if they have nothing to do with marketing. That’s the only way those sites will show any visitors on Alexa or Compete.

Just as you ping Technorati when you blog, the Alexa toolbar “pings” Alexa when you visit a site.

Act on your dream!


August 24th, 2008 | 4:01 AM

I suppose in a way I am lucky because I don’t worry about competition. I just go along my merry way having a good time blogging.

August 24th, 2008 | 4:03 AM

Hi John,

I don’t need Alexa or Compete to measure my traffic because I have Google Analytics to do that, as well as the stats counter of 1&1, who hosts my site. The way I see it, having the other two toolbars inflates statistics just because you have the bars, and thus doesn’t offer one a real way to compare against everyone else who may not have the toolbars. I’d rather know how my sites ranked against everyone else on an equal plane.

I was about to use a healthcare finance example, then realized it wouldn’t make any sense here. 🙂

August 24th, 2008 | 7:31 AM

Sire, as a quick question, how many businesses does your main business compete against in general? Is there a website to your main business, and if so, how does it compare with your competitors? My problem is that I don’t know any of the smaller businesses I compete against online, only the bigger ones, so I work my site to compete with those guys, even though most healthcare providers aren’t going to start off researching online for people who do what I do anyway.

August 24th, 2008 | 7:33 AM

Mitch I have never bothered checking it out. I assume that as one of my websites is about making money through surveys etc. that the competition would be pretty stiff, but I’ve never bothered to look into it. Pretty slack huh?

Sires last blog post..How To Make A Monthly Income With Your Blog

August 27th, 2008 | 10:09 PM

Sire, the only reason I even noticed it is because of the Firefox plugin I mentioned. I’m going to leave it for now, though.

August 27th, 2008 | 11:10 PM

i’m also very interested in the PR and alexa
Any tips?

eddysu´s last blog post..Surveying the Sex Lives of Medical Students

December 16th, 2008 | 5:12 PM

Hi Eddysu. My tips are write a lot, comment a lot, and wait for your stats to start growing. If you’ve seen one of my latest posts, the one beginning with “Number 301”, you’ll see the kind of growth I’ve been showing.

December 16th, 2008 | 11:07 PM
The Dude:

Dont worry about compete, it sucks!

I dont see it lasting.

The Dude´s last blog post..Rachel McAdams Wallpaper Collection

December 18th, 2008 | 6:38 AM

I don’t know if it will last or not, but overall, I’m ignoring it.

December 18th, 2008 | 6:35 PM

compete ranking is very very VERY poor. i’ve checked a lot of sites with it and it’s not even close to the real stats. I don’t know why people even CHECK a website stats with’s a waste of time IMO

December 18th, 2008 | 10:57 AM

I finally turned it off on one of my Firefox plugins, as it came up as a default reading.

December 26th, 2008 | 11:38 PM

I agree with you, compete is not worth bothering with. It doesn’t give the accurate data and it is just a waste of time. when I first say it I thought wow what is this and soon I realised is not good to use.

December 26th, 2008 | 3:22 PM

It’s main problem is that it doesn’t tell anyone who or what they’re competing against. That, plus having to add that stupid toolbar.

December 26th, 2008 | 11:37 PM
Chip Toriani:

I dont see it.

January 10th, 2009 | 3:15 AM

You see it if you have Firefox as your browser and you’ve loaded one of their add-on programs that shows you all these stats, such as Google Page Rank.

January 10th, 2009 | 3:28 AM
School Proxys Blog:

I don’t trust Complete rank either.
It shows nonsense. Actually I don’t trust most of third-part SEO tools.
But I’m using SearchStatus to check the PR too. I prefer to use the Google Webmaster Tools to check my ranking for keywords and Google Insight to compare sites traffic.

January 29th, 2009 | 3:23 PM

I do that, Schools, but I also follow Technorati, even though I know it’s only a six month snapshot, as well as Feedburner.

January 29th, 2009 | 4:57 PM

I am very pleased with Alexa rankings. I am new to this Compete rankings. I learned a point here.

March 27th, 2009 | 2:01 AM