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Q: How do I compare traffic with my competitors?
by Mike Slocombe

Q: My site is growing at a rate of 12 per cent a month, based on the average individual user session per day, month on month. Is there a way to compare this with competitor sites? It would be useful to track progress. I now get in the region of 7,000 impressions a day. Is that any good, and how could I turn them into cash?
Jonathan Pankhurst

A: Unless you're blessed with a truly immense hit rate, your chances of generating meaningful revenue from things like banner ads and branding deals are very slim indeed.

Ever since the 'dotbomb' crash, banner ads have been shunned by advertisers, with investors adopting a far more pragmatic approach to Web site investment.

Put simply, unless your site offers a unique and truly useful service, supports a bricks and mortar business, sells goods that people really need, or attracts a highly targeted and lucrative audience, you're going to find it hard to turn your traffic into major profit.
See: Webmonkey Online Advertising 101.


There's no easy way to find out how your site traffic rates against competitors, but you can check to see how it compares in search engine rankings using the Visibility Index at

Simply type in your own URL and those of your competitors, and you'll get a detailed report showing how they compare, along with a selection of well-known names in related areas of business.

For more details on measuring link popularity check out or

If you find smaller competitors ranked higher than you, it's worth taking a look at their pages to see what they're doing right.

With big search engines like Google factoring link popularity into their rankings, it's also worth approaching related sites and requesting reciprocal links.

You can also see which pages are linking to your site by typing the following into Google:

This will return all pages that have hyperlinks linking to the web site. This would include links such as:

March 2002

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