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Wednesday, April 23, 2008
WND Distorts Its Web Traffic Stats
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 20 WorldNetDaily article proclaims that WND "ranks among the top 25 news websites in both unique visitors and sessions per user, according to March statistics gathered and analyzed by Nielsen Online."

The link WND supplies to back this up is a Nielsen list of news sites ranked by "sessions per user." It proves to be a strange metric in which WND ranks ahead of the Washington Post website. Also included in those stats, though, are the unique-visitors numbers, which shows a little more realistic view of things: the Post website draws nearly nine times as many visitors as WND.

WND also misleads with these numbers as well. In claiming that WND "ranks among the top 25 news websites in ... unique visitors," it appears all WND did was take the sessions-per-user list and reordered it by unique visitors. In other words, it's not an actual top 25 unique visitor list.

Newsmax treated this traffic-count issue a little more honestly. In a March 19 article, based on Nielsen stats from February, it proclaimed itself "the Web leader among independent news sites, sites unaffiliated with major media companies like the Huffington Post, DrudgeReport, and Salon."

The stat list it provides, for unique visitors, shows Newsmax with 4.1 million visitors in February -- and 1.2 million for WND. Newsmax's list is only of "selected web sites," so it doesn't offer a full picture either. But apples are being compared to actual apples, compared with WND's deceitful approach. (There's no mention whatsoever of Newsmax in the WND article.)

WND also claims that "By WND's own traffic counts, the site attracts about 6 million "unique visitors" (meaning different people) every month." That, of course, is just self-promotional blather, meaningless unless it makes public details of those numbers as well as the counting method used to arrive at them so their adherence to accepted statistical analysis models can be determined.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT

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