Better Website Audits

  • by January 31, 2001
By Adam Bernard

If the site you’re advertising on isn’t using the right audit system, you could be misinformed as to how many eyes are really seeing your ad. A website audit is a report that counts and verifies a site's traffic, or verifies the site's ad delivery for a particular ad campaign ad experts advise you ask to see a site’s audit report before signing any IO. Many sites, however, are not audited because most publishers are wary of the complexity of the process.

Good news. Yesterday, ABC Interactive and WebSideStory announced an alliance that will bring about the first browser-based system for delivering website audits.

Michael Christian, a high ranking member of ABCi, explains that before this technology came about, auditing was much more difficult, saying, "The auditing process can be burdensome to the client [website publisher] because the auditor must get his hands on the underlying data to test, filter, and audit it. It's coming from the customer's file server, which can require file encryption, or special software. We collect information from browsers, and not the customers."

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ABCi will use WebSideStory's real-time HitBox Enterprise technology, which is a visitor analysis service for high-volume websites, that delivers a seamless, third-party audit that will not intrude on the client’s privacy, or hard drive.

Gil Aguiles of BPA International, a competitor of ABCi, said, "I have no idea how they're going to pull this off.” He raised a question about whether or not artificial results produced by robots and spiders, (programs that automatically search for sites, and inflate traffic figures) are eliminated. Christian countered, "Our HTML and Java Script is not executed by most robots and spiders, so we don't receive those hits." Unless the Java Script, or HTML is executed, the hit of the website is not counted, because nothing was actually seen.

Aguiles added that, even though BPA company won't be doing anything like this in the near future, he thinks it could be good for ABCi, saying, "it's a way to help members, and that's always good."

- Adam Bernard may be reached at AdamBernard@mediapost.com

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