Alexa Tries to Compete

Internet stat collector Alexa is fighting back its critics today, comparing Sitemeter traffic stats to its own Alexa traffic history numbers on its corporate blog. Author Geoffrey Mack conducts a non-scientific study of two websites with actual traffic stats that look really close to the Alexa approximation. As though that will convince stat freaks of Alexa’s accuracy.

VCs regularly bag on Alexa stats as inaccurate and misleading, especially when trying to measure traction of sites in the long tail. It’s the whipping boy de jour for Web2.0 investors and entrepreneurs alike. But I was introduced to an executive at a party after the Web2.0 Summit earlier this month who promises an alternative. TJ Mahony launched at the beginning of the month. When I met him, I seem to remember him describing the service as an “Alexa killer,” or “Alexa on steroids” but I can’t remember his exact words.

A quick, informal survey of consumer Internet VCs suggests that those that had heard of were including its stats in their due diligence. So I pass it on to you.

It is pretty cool. The Snapshot collects its data from a tool bar, as Alexa does, but also uses data from ISPs as Hitwise does and ASPs as comScore does. It’s got a slick user interface that offers the number of people estimated to have visited the site, the average duration of the stay, the rank and the average number of pages per visit.

The site’s one disappointment is that has not yet been rated.