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ComScore predictions versus Google performance actuals

One of my favorite bloggers, Paul Kedrosky, writes about the recent positive quarter by Google: Why Was Everyone Wrong-sided on Google?.

He summarizes:

  • Comscore data had people convinced that first-quarter paid click data was disastrous
  • It
    just made sense that online ad spending would be cut, especially given
    financial services dependency, and Google has to be hurt if/when that
  • Google missed (sort of last quarter), and everyone assumed the wheel had come off and stayed off

I wrote about the problems with panel-based measurement in a much earlier blog (November 2006) titled Are you using Alexa numbers? (Probably).

In it, I discuss several problems, some which specifically apply to Alexa, and some which apply to comScore as well. Then I go through the different ways that these panel-based measurement providers try to rebalance their data, using extra sources like ISP-level info, normalizing based on global demographic info, and using random-digit dial (RDD) to collect data. I hadn’t read it in a while, but thought I’d dig it up for people who haven’t seen it.

Net/net, while many analysts missed their mark on Google’s projections, let me leave with a related thought:

What does it mean that these same, somewhat flawed approaches are driving the decisions of media buyers in a $40B+ global advertising industry?


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