Quantcast Improves Website Tracking With Cookie Corrected Audience Data

181

The Quantcast Internet Rating Service has launched a breakthrough in direct-measurement audience modeling, known as cookie corrected audience data.

Quantcast says “This development enables directly measured cookie data to be modeled into people-based estimates. Advertisers and marketers have a deep desire to evaluate people-based measures, and this enhancement in our service provides the industry with numerous advancements.”

Those enhancements include:

  • audience measures for arbitrary collections of content too small to be projected by syndicated panel services
  • Improved ranking accuracy for co-mingled directly-measured and panel-based properties
  • Visibility into property-specific cookie-to-people translation ratios

    In a major change from industry norms, Quantcast brought together access to massive data sets and sophisticated statistical modeling to solve the complexities of cookie-to-people translations.

    Some panel measurement services report a standardized traffic metric for all sites by extrapolating from their sample, but this has major limitations, as can be seen by looking at Alexa data. The Alexa toolbar, which used to be the webmaster’s tool of choice doesn’t work on Vista PCs and until recently, didn’t work on Firefox.

    Quantcast directly measures traffic for publishers that include tracking code on their websites and makes panel-based estimates for the rest of the web.

    Quantcast has a Cookie Corrected Audience Data White Paper, that explains the components to their model. Key details covered by the white paper include cookie deletion and non-acceptance, models for multiple machine use by individuals, and multiple person use of specific machines. There is also a broad FAQ on the website.

    Unfortunately, this change results in the website charts showing a drop compared to the stats shown historically by cookie counts.

    According to Quantcast “You will notice that generally, quantified publisher traffic counts – now people based – decline versus historically reported cookie counts in our service. This results in increases in other key measures (vists and pages per user, for example). This change should be embraced, as Quantcast now provides the key metrics that advertisers care most about – insights at the person, not cookie level.”

    For publishers that don’t include Quantcast code on their site (Non-quantified publishers) Quantcast still reports panel-based people estimates. This method suffers from the same sample size limitations and bias issues that all panels have.

    Over the past six months, we notices more publishers joining the free Quantified Publisher program. www.quantcast.com/get-quantified. It will be interesting to see if this change reults in an acceleration of that process.

    Contact Quantcast at [email protected] to provide feedback on their innovation.

  • Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.