Similarweb vs. Direct Measurement

Why does my Direct Measurement data show something different from Similarweb’s data?

Similarweb provides a consistent, holistic view of the digital world. You can't compare Direct Measurement data to other Direct Measurement data, let alone Market Intelligence data (like Similarweb), and expect to see a like-for-like comparison. Here are a few reasons why:

Different Methodologies

The majority of businesses use Direct Measurement tools to measure and analyze traffic to their own domains. Although the technology is usually similar from one tool to the next, the data often varies. This is because of different methodologies used to calculate sessions, session time, and other simple and standard metrics. Additionally, some methodologies deduplicate visits and/or remove bot traffic, and others don’t.

  Note: Similarweb’s algorithms are built to detect and defend against any anomalous results, including bots.

The Human Factor

The way trackers/analytics code is implemented on a website is subjective to each company. For example, over the years, websites add new pages to their site and may forget to implement this code on each new page. Websites sometimes own different sites - their blog, online shop, etc. - and may forget to implement code on these sites. Some companies add tracking to their widgets, apps, browser plugins, and email clients to boost the volume of their visits/page views.

A Small Number of Visits

Similarweb uses a sample of data to generate the estimations and insights you see on Similarweb. Thus, for websites with a small number of visits, our estimations will not be as statistically significantly accurate. As a general rule, for websites with over 100K monthly visits, we are more confident in our estimations.

  Read more: Check out Is Similarweb's data reliable? for information on estimations for small sites.

The Bottom Line

  • There isn’t a single source of truth: Direct measurement tools (e.g. Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics) and market intelligence tools (e.g. Similarweb) use different methodologies to collect data and calculate metrics. Our finding show that even when comparing data for the same site from different direct measurement tools, the variance can be up to 30%.

  • Similarweb offers a consistent methodology: While businesses choose their own source of truth according to the direct measurement tool they use (e.g. Google Analytics, Adobe), Similarweb measures all of these sites in a consistent, unified manner.

  • The bigger the site, the better our estimations: Similar to other measurement methodologies, the bigger the sample size, the better the accuracy level.

Why do I still see discrepancies between Similarweb numbers and my own analytics?

Make sure the parameters for comparison are the same in both cases:

  • Are you comparing the same time frame?

  • Are you comparing the same devices? Total/Desktop/Mobile?

  • Are you comparing the same metrics? Unique Visitors/Visits?

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