The #1 reason people will sign up for a service is curiousity. That is what sucked me into quantcast. There business model is interesting… they give you low score for your site… then you can “quantify” your statistics by adding there code to your site.

Here is the thing though…. There code has been hanging pages on my site for months randomly. I also notice it on other sites. Well it doesn’t even matter cause i looked at “quantified” numbers for my site today:

ok 6800 uniq per month? what? Its not like its alexa and you guys have some tool bar estimator. I have your code on my website.

Oh ya I also have another companies code on my site called google analytics and it reported a little more accurately:

Hmm google says last month (sept) this site had 180,000 absolute unique visitors.

Anyway the quantcast numbers never changed since I installed the code.

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

101 thoughts on “Quantcast Has Bullshit Stats”
  1. So what’s the point of them doing this then? Do they have any ‘traffic for sale’ services?

    It’s incredibly stupid to do things this way if they’re doing it on purpose. If someone is attentive enough to want this code and metrics for their site, they most likely already have some idea, even if it’s the most basic, like Webalizer, that comes with their host.

    So, it’s gotta be a mistake.

  2. Man, estimating traffic is always a guessing game. You could put 10 different trackers on your website and all of them could be different. Even a webhost bandwidth usage meter could be wrong! Who knows how many people really visit a website. As long as you have a ruler of some sort though, no matter how inaccurate it is.

    What if the quantcast numbers are really the accurate ones? I mean 180,000 DIFFERENT PEOPLE? Come on, that’s a lot. On many traffic trackers, if you log in one day, clean out your cookies, log in the next day, it will count you as two different unique visitors. GOogle on the other hand may not keep records of EVERYONE who visited your site over a course of a month, that would be a ton of records. I think what the whole picture could be saying, could be saying 6800 TRUE uniques per month , 184,000 times those 6800 people visited your site (with possible clean out cookies or whatever), and then 1.2 million pageviews total over the course of a month for those 6800 people. (thats only 176 pageviews per month per visitor) I visit your site atleast twice a day, so I’m sure people like me contribute to so many pageviews. I mean, are there even 184,000 people who know what SEO/Adsense/making money online is?

  4. I’ve been very happy with the quantified results from Quantcast, it almost exactly matches my Google Analytics. What’s weird is that you are only showing the barebones results on the Quantcast page (which is partially your choice of what to show) but if you WERE gathering data correctly, it wouldn’t say “estimated” next to the uniques, so you’re probably doing something wrong.

    Also, Google Analytics is pretty bad about counting absolute uniques – it’s always like 70% new users on almost every site I’ve seen, clearly a failure of their cookie/javascript approach.

  5. Yea I’ve noticed the same thing. I know my website’s traffic stats like the back of my hand. Quantcast greatly understated my site. *thumbs down*

  6. Joe maybe you need to read the post from the milliondollar wiki kid about shoemoney driving $40,000 in sales from 1 post. I would say its a safe bet this site has that kind of traffic

  7. Ok maybe 6800 uniques is a little low. Maybe’s it’s 20k. But 180k? Are there even 180k people interested in this industry? I’m not doubting shoe’s popularity. I’m just trying to put things into perspective.

  8. I could understand a small difference in the number, we are talking more than a factor of 10, that’s crazy!

  9. Joe you’ve got a vastly distorted view of just how large the internet is. Google reports over 200 million search queries per day. 20,000 would be only 1/1000th of 1% of that. If you look at the top of the page you might notice the subscriber numbers here? Well over 11,000. Also, there are known to be at least 250k adsense publishers.

  10. Yeah… this is why I just stick to basic Awstats. Seems the most accurate through and through beyond all these independant new traffic detailers. I use Google Analytics to but… well, it’s good for knowing time estimates I suppose. But yeah that Quantcast thing looks pretty useless.

  11. I knew there stats were off but didnt know they were off that much I was going to try them but I dont know since you were already the guinea pig for it hah

  12. looks like they suck big time. btw, shoemoney can you remove that annoying popup splash thingy that asks you to join the newsletter. i doubt its necessary my man.

    seems invasive. you are better off adding a subscribe icon or link at the bottom of each post.

  13. it only shows the 1st time you visit so it’s not that invasive. He’s got a contest to win!

  14. Google always create the best tools 😉 I tried also other analytics tools and all of them I got different numbers that is strange even in your webanalyzer (Your sever analytic tool) it also gives you other numbers…

  15. It seems that awstats is the best one around for general statistics.. But Google analytics for more in deep analytics

  16. I like looking at your title bar and seeing:

    Quantcast Has Bullshit Stats – Shoemoney


  17. “Anyway the quantcast numbers never changed since I installed the code.”

    Since you mention this, are you sure it is installed properly? On my site it matches Google Analytics almost exactly.

  18. “As long as you have a ruler of some sort though, no matter how inaccurate it is.”
    So even if your ruler is off by 172,000 visitors, thats ok?

  19. Google Analytics is the best free one I think. I tried 103 Bees but Google Analytics is so easy, it is hard to change. I would like to try clicktracks.

  20. you are right. I have just realize this matter few days ago :(. I’d rather use google analytics to estimate my traffic more accurately

  21. Seriously, it’s okay to be off by a couple percent (some places count bots, some use javascript and miss hits, etc) but orders of magnitude are ridiculous. And you can’t possibly argue that analytics is wrong and quantcast is right. 🙂

  22. hahah i had no idea what was going on the first time when everything went dark and before the signup popped up… i thought i had spyware or something

  23. Obviously, they need to work this out if they want to be a viable resource. With analytics already in use by so many people, you need to offer an accurate tracker with some added benefit if you want to gain market share. Counting a tiny percentage of actual visitors to a site is not the kind of extra feature I’d have in mind…

  24. Brings into question the analytics that a lot of these blog widgets use. Good on you for reporting this discrepancy, hopefully they can get it fixed

  25. Shoe, you should do this experiment: create a page where for a month every one of your readers has to sign in, like a guest book, and then you count them. of course you will have to trust them but i would be curious of the number it would came out.

  26. 6000 uniques a day is great, and there’s room for a lot of improvement if you could rank better in Google..

  27. I was going to check out their stuff, but got too busy this past week to deal with it and forgot. Now I’m glad I didn’t waste my time.

    On a side note, I came here from Google Reader, where I’m subscribed to your feed, yet I got a little window prompting me to subscribe.

  28. Almost forgot. I like the technical numbers. It just goes to show that more smart people are using Firefox these days.

  29. Like I said before, it’s a very complicated process based on “ini mini miny moe …”

  30. Thats quite funny.. I thought you’d have been onto this a LONG time ago.. but you’re spot on anyway.

    Their metrics might as well be plucked out of thin air.

  31. good idea in thought but you have to give people what you promise or the service is no good!

  32. I wonder how many of these replies above are from Quancast employees… seems to be a few out doing “damage control”… 😉

  33. Google analytics rocks. I dont think any other tool could touch it unless they offer some really revolutionary.

  34. You’re probably getting such massive traffic that their servers couldn’t handle it and they capped you. We’ll call it the shoemoney effect 🙂

  35. must be something buggy with them about your site. I’ve noticed they are very accurate with my 8 year old website. The most accurate of any traffic site so far. And I haven’t installed any code. I just observe their numbers and their within about 5% of my real stats. And I get over half a million a month so it’s a pretty good estimate.

  36. guys, just found this new site called… clickorburn-dot-com…
    just kidding. I don’t use a site tracker right now, maybe its time.
    (hey that domain was not taken, so I bought it)

  37. Just another company that thinks it can compete with a billion dollar company – Google!!

  38. Your Firefox browser numbers are off the charts. Non tech websites are averaging 10% across the board.

  39. I checked them out a while ago and also found their stats to be way off. It seems to be a bit of a pointless service.

  40. My experience with one of my small sites is that Quantcast is fairly accurate. But not perfect. I suppose Analytics isn’t either. Oh well, I gave it a shot. Maybe I should try it on my higher traffic site?

  41. Hi all — I work for Quantcast.

    That said, I took at look at the ShoeMoney implementation as a Quantified Publisher –First, like Google Analytics, the tag needs to be on every page.

    Secondly, the data is there, but you choose to supress the direcly measured data through your election of “Panel Estimate” vs “Directly Measured”. We put publishers in full control of their profile. You can show or hide what you wish.

    Our model is convergent — we combine panel data with directly measured data. This ensures more and more accurate measurement. That said, panels will always have a margin of error associated with them — thus the launch of the Quantified Publisher program. Over 15,000 publishers have signed up to date.

    If anyone has questions or want to try the free Quantcast Publisher program… let me know. I can be reached at 415-738-4755.

    My best,

    Mark Schulze
    VP, Quantcast

  42. I posed earlier today — but we always identify ourselves as being with Quantcast. Drop us a line if you want more information!

  43. 180k visitors monthly? So only likely 5000 visitors leave their comment in Shoemoney monthly. where are the rest gone to? correct me if i am wrong, not good at this stuff ^^;

  44. I think Jon and Mark in earlier posts may have hit upon your problem. I’ve encountered issues before where the javascript code wasn’t placed in the best position or I didn’t opt for a certain configuration.

    I use both GA and Quantcast and the numbers are close enough.

  45. We’ve been running 5 analytics packages on one site as part of a case study. They all get similar results, similar visitors, etc. They all have their quirks, though. Still, they’re not more than a percent or two off on anything but ecommerce analysis. Some only count 1 sale per unique visit while others count every one, which makes our call center stick out as the major point of error, as are select customers who are ordering everything in stock on one order and the rest on a different order.

  46. I like quantcast for getting an idea if a site owner is giving anywhere close to accurate traffic stats. It’s nice to get an idea without having to remember my Hitwise login info. After seeing Jeremy’s numbers, I’ll think twice about using that shortcut, though.

  47. We use IndexTools on one site and Google Analytics on another. I love being able to get up to the minute stats out of IndexTools, not to mention the flexibility of being able to do ad-hoc scenario analysis (i.e. someone that saw this page converted at X% compared to someone that saw this other page – all real time) as well as logging in and seeing a dashboard comparing traffic today vs. same point of the day last week. I can quickly tell if something is off and what. Google makes me wait until they run the analysis again.

    I think most Enterprise level paid analytics are that way, but they get costly. IndexTools has cost us plenty over the past 3-1/2 years.

  48. They get a “feeling” for it by what is searched for, traffic patterns of the user, or registration data through other services. Gotta read some of those privacy policies closely – your ISP could be selling your data to people like Quantcast or Hitwise without you knowing it.

  49. Funny. Now, what are you going to do with that domain? Don’t encourage people to click on AdSense… that’s against the TOS.

  50. Not so. Our ecommerce sites are both over 20%, and one is up to 25%. We sell power tools and replacement parts, so that should be an “Average” user, not the tech guys.

  51. Quantcast, has crappy stats honestly a waste of time. Completely off the chart…

  52. What ? Is that legal ? There was no mention of anything like this in my contract with the isp

  53. Even if that was true it wouldn’t be accurate cause how many people only have one person using their IP ie families, schools, work, etc. Im gonna have to call BS on quantcast

  54. 4.5 million visitors to a recipes site indicates Mozilla browsers a little over 10%. I would say these visitors are more female users. So give and take, it may be 12% if we average out the female user from the recipes site and male users from your site power tools site. This is no where near 49% as indicated by Shoes’ stats.

  55. […] has one of the web’s top blogs on money making and on Sunday he posted a Google Analytics screenshot of one month of his stats. There is a wealth of information there, […]

  56. The 70% unique users is normal for most sites, but I’ve been working with people whose sites have only 50% of new users.

  57. There isnt much good sites out there to track internet websites traffic beside alexa .. and quantcast. when i know about quantcast, i’ve almost wanted to sign up and put their tracking code. after some thoughts, i put it off… didnt want any 3rd party to data-mined my traffic details.

  58. that happens a lot with publisher sites like that. Even adsense gives less impressions than your normal pageviews. Never a 100%

  59. The worst thing about these third party analytics is that you can not opt out.I’ve asked politely, but Quantcast REFUSES to not put up bullshit numbers about my site. Their numbers are way off and I can NOT use their code on every page since I have an SSL site. They offer a “secure” code version which does not work anyway. So I’m stuck with shitty stats that I can not do anything about. This sucks.

  60. AWStats is great if you enjoy the illusion that your traffic is 5 to 10 times greater than it actually is. They count every request for your RSS feed and every request by a search engine spider as a “visitor.”

  61. Does anyone know if this situation has improved. I’ve got a client complaining that their quantcast numbers are dropping! I’m trying to tell him politely that its crap but he aint listening.

  62. how come sites like wordpress, digg and nbc have quantified their sites then, maybe they just take a very long time to quantify the site…i guess its not worth waiting that long then…

  63. …quantcast is BS. They have our site showing 43.3K monthly visitors. We actually have (verified via Omniture) between 300,000 and 400,000 monthly uniques – depending on time of year. Our site has been live since 2000.

    Quantcast, like Alexa, and any other “me 2!” panel based service thrives on – and COUNTS on existing accounts going out to the market place and highlighting “quantified” stats against the vapor they post for publishers that don’t join their service.

    If site owners spent all their time chasing every BS panel-based wild extrapolation service, they’d never be able to focus on what is truly important – THE CONTENT.

    Pony up and get a legit 3rd party service like Omniture, or Webtrends – and arm your sales team with the common knowledge that panel-based rankings between sites that are “members” and sites that are not, are totally useless, inaccurate, and sophistry.

  64. […] over 90% male members. That I know for a fact, but 57% of my traffic is female??? Yeah okay… Quantcast Has Bullshit Stats – ShoeMoney® ——————– Andy / vBulletin Setup Staff Check out our Newsletter for the latest vB […]

  65. If it is of any use to those in the know I am here without a clue. My purpose as a visitor on this web site is to find information about Quantcast as to its legitimacy be for logging onto their web site. I am sure there is a lot of us making hits on web sites because we are ignorant of what SEO/Adsense/making money online is. At this time I still do not know what Quantcast or SEO…are but I will before I am finished.

  66. Quantcast is a complete farce! For most sites Quantacst rankings are wild guesses that are off by thousands of percent and are about as acurate as a carnival psychic. Anyone who pays more than 10 cents for the “research” generated by Quantcast is being overcharged.

  67. Tried Quantcast twice (right alongside my Google analytics code) and it performed poorly both times over a 6 month period. Serious under reporting, some days it missed 500-800 visitors and about 25% monthly traffic and pageviews overall.

    Technologically very poor software and not recommended in my opinion. If you try it, be sure to test against other packages to verify your own results.

  68. Quantcast makes me laugh, there should be laws for companies like this they said we are only getting 50k visitors a month when were getting close to 200k! Even Alexa which is another joke site has us somewhere closer to these crazies!

  69. No one takes Quantcast seriously. Its flawed data makes Alexa look like the Gold Standard. Some sites are reported as having a one or two hundred visitors per month while the reality is 30 or 40 THOUSAND. Others sites are reported as have 10 or 12 thousand visitors per month when actually it is only three or 400! Quantcast is a misleading joke. Wish the guys that run it would just go away and stop dishing out screwed-up fake data.

  70. Run Quantcast code on 2 of my sites.
    One is very accurate, the other isn’t even close to accurate for visitors or uniques. The sites have been around for many years and I have tons of data on my traffic. The code is implemented correctly, so I’m at a loss.

    Contacted Quantcast support trying to locate the disparity and they asked for access to my Google account.

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