What's In A Ranking? Semantics, Apparently

ComScore recently released its February 2014 “Top 50 U.S. Desktop Web Properties” ranking, and Joe Mandese and I got a pitch from one of the ranked companies touting their place on the “DSP/SSP/Ad Exchange Entities” list.

Except there was a caveat. Just three companies were on that particular list -- Rubicon Project, engage:BDR, and Fulcrum5.

There was a separate list -- Top 20 Ad Networks/Buy Side Networks -- which housed names such as Criteo, Casale Media, RadiumOne, and Rocket Fuel.

It got us thinking about what the ranking actually was and how they rank DSP/SSP/Ad Exchanges. Unfortunately, we don’t really know what qualifies a company for the DSP/SSP/Ad Exchange list versus the Ad Networks/Buy Side Networks list.

What we did learn was that the rankings (for both lists) require opt-in participation from the providers; it's the only way comScore can measure the audiences. That’s just something to keep in mind, because it means the rankings aren’t comprehensive.

Making things even more Twilight Zone-y is the fact comScore acknowledges that separate lists are nothing more than a semantics dance. You just need to read the fine print.

See those two stars (**) next to each company’s name in the image above? Now read the fine print:

So...why aren't they all just on one list? Even comScore couldn't help us answer that one.

Recommend (7) Print RSS
All content published by MediaPost is determined by our editors 100% in the interest of our readers ... independent of advertising, sponsorships or other considerations.