Danny Sullivan, perhaps the Web's most search engine technology-savvy guy, is about to take a few pokes at two of the Internet's best-known audience monitoring services. But first, he wants to quarrel with yesterday's report from ComScore Networks showing Google losing market share for the first time in almost a year.
Sullivan counsels caution. He pointed out it's not unheard of for ComScore to revise its numbers a month later, and make no announcement. And, anyway, Sullivan doesn't think a sparrow, or one month's numbers, makes a spring, or a failing company. Sullivan analyzes past ComScore research and concludes you should, wait for multi-month trends and compare data from multiple services.
Sullivan criticizes ComScore for making announcements which spin the numbers to garner press attention. He faults media for taking the bait. It's fair to say Hitwise and NetRatings do the same thing because, after all. They're not doing audience research just for the media. They want to sell that data, and more, to clients. So they want publicity.
Then, he writes. "In this story, I'm poking at ComScore. And later this week, I'll poke Hitwise and NetRatings."
Oh boy, cat fight. I can't wait.
Disclaimer: I own shares of Google.