It’s no secret how bad most of the analytics firms are at gathering statistically relevant data about Internet traffic. All of them, Quantcast, Comscore, Hitwise, Compete, Alexa, etc., are flawed in various ways and to various degrees.
But today’s blog post by Hitwise shows just how bad their data really is. They say that Craigslist is now the top searched term on the Internet, taking that honor from MySpace. Facebook is third.
But the real data is out there for the taking. Google Trends shows Google search data, and since Google commands such a large lead in search in most countries, presumably the data is accurate. Google trends shows exactly the opposite data as Hitwise – Facebook is by far the most queried term, followed by MySpace and then Craigslist.
I’m putting my money on Google when it comes to accurate search trends. And if I were Hitwise, I’d make very sure my search data conformed to whatever Google was saying.