Internet usage measurement firm Hitwise has expanded its offering in New Zealand with its new service, Click Stream, which assesses where a surfer has visited before and after arriving at your site.
The Australian company is also planning to launch its services in the UK and Hong Kong this month with plans to expand into Singapore, Korea and Japan as well as the US in the coming months.
Co-founder Adrian Giles first came up with the idea of a service like Hitwise when he was running a games website in the US.
“We wanted to know how we were doing compared with other similar sites but there was no way to find out - we didn’t even know who our competitors would be let alone how they were doing.”
Giles says services that have a panel of users, like most television ratings services, don’t work as well online because of the sheer number of websites available.
“It’s practically limitless. On TV you might have five or six channels or even 30 or 40 but it’s finite and manageable. You don’t have that on the internet.”
Instead of using a panel Hitwise measurements come from the logs of ISPs and Giles claims Hitwise has relationships with four of New Zealand’s six largest ISPs.
“That gives us coverage from roughly half of New Zealand’s online population, which is a lot better than having 2000 people on a panel.” User privacy is maintained, says Giles, because no names are passed on by the ISP.
“We paid a lot of money to PricewaterhouseCoopers to have our systems audited and they came back and told us so long as nobody can identify the individual, privacy is assured.”
Giles won’t say which ISPs are involved in New Zealand but says they receive a cut of the revenue from sales of the service.