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It’s official: The Daily Bell lied about their website numbers

November 18, 2012

The Daily BellOn August 6, 2012, I published the article, Daily Bell, show us independent confirmation of your readership numbers, and then we’ll believe you.

As of November 18, 2012, we now have independent confirmation of their readership numbers, thanks to them adopting an “elite methodology” they had previous blasted — Alexa’s website rankings.

The independent confirmation shows conclusively that they lied about their readership numbers.

As of November 18, 2012, their “Certified Site Metrics” show that they only receive an average of 6,717 daily visitors and 14,800 daily pageviews. Projected out over an entire year, that would give them only 2,451,705 annual visitors and 5,402,000 annual pageviews — a far cry from the 17 million page hits they claimed in a single month after their Alexa ranking had tanked below 100,000.

I first blew the whistle on the veracity of the Daily Bell’s claims about its readership numbers in my January 1, 2012 article, I call bollocks on the Daily Bell’s reported monthly page hits.

Despite the mounting evidence against their claims, they continued to perpetuate their unfounded claims, and as recently as November 10, a regular Daily Bell reader tried defending their readership number claims, showing that people are willing to cling to obviously false claims, facts and logic be damned.

I don’t rule out the possibility that they reached 17 million hits in a month through deceptive means like pinging their own servers, but that would be as honest as me claiming I received a call from the President of the United States because I called myself with a Skype ID of “President of the United States.”

My question to the so-called alternative media is, now that it’s been documented that the Daily Bell lied, what will you do about it?

I predict that their readership will continue to go up, and that Lew Rockwell and Alex Jones will continue to link to their articles, thereby calling Lew Rockwell’s and Alex Jones’ own credibility into question, at least on the basis of having such well-funded, highly-rated sites, yet not mustering the basic resources to uncover what I uncovered myself on an unpaid, part-time basis.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Abu Aardvark permalink
    November 19, 2012 4:38 pm

    This is a really incredible article, and symptomatic of a larger issue. Since you mentioned me in your diatribe, I am responding. I am the DB reader you mention.

    I hadn’t wanted to respond again as I am no “DB agent” and ordinarily could not care less about their “numbers.” I read the site because it is enjoyable and tells the truth as I see it on a number of issues. Of course, I am sure you will make further unfounded accusations about me as that is your style.

    But saying DB “lies” about their numbers proves mostly that you have some weird obsession with DB. Perhaps it because most of the articles you write (in abbreviated form) have already been covered by DB in years past. Thus I guess you look on them as a competitor even though DB is the pacesetter here and you are a “Johnny-come-lately.”

    Your obsession goes beyond mere competition. Here is the first mention you made of DB’s numbers on July 17: “The Daily Bell shoots the messenger as it sinks into inefficient obscurity.” (July 17, 2012, FauxCapitalist).

    At that time you wrote, “The Daily Bell, a gold bug site, has now officially sunk into inefficient obscurity, just as I had foreseen, with a 3-month Alexa.com rating below 100,000 as of July 15, 2012.”

    But today, I see Alexa’s ratings provide DB with a global rating of 68,072 and a US rating of 18,421.

    • To the best of my knowledge, you’ve never retracted your claim that DB “has sunk into inefficient obscurity.” You have never referred to it. You have never mentioned it once until today. This alone should make people suspicious of your claims …

    • Second, you have previously confused page views with hits. THIS time, you actually make a distinction between page views and hits but neither you nor I know DB’s internal numbers when it comes to hits, or how they are calculated. Presumably DB has data showing a significant amount of hits.

    • You write that DB has adopted an elite Alexa methodology, but you have no knowledge of whether DB “adopted” it or Alexa “provided” it. I already suggested in a previous response that I believed this to be an Alexa glitch and that DB never asked for “certified metrics.” You simply ignored this possibility.

    In fact, I see now they are gone from Alexa. This confirms my previous supposition that Alexa released those stats in error, as of the four categories, only two were ever completed by the Alexa back office. This renders your PREVIOUS article – claiming that DB had adopted an elite methodology – erroneous. No doubt you will claim that your intrepid “reporting” caused the take down. But that will be another supposition, as flawed as all the other aspersions you cast for reasons known only to you.

    • You write that “As of November 18, 2012, their Certified Site Metrics show that they only receive an average of 6,717 daily visitors and 14,800 daily pageviews. Projected out over an entire year, that would give them only 2,451,705 annual visitors and 5,402,00 annual pageviews — a far cry from the 17 million page hits they claimed in a single month after their Alexa ranking had tanked below 100,000.” But “hits” can easily be 5X 10X page views. Thus, with five million page views, 15 million hits would not be out of the ball park at all.

    • You write, “I first blew the whistle on the veracity of the Daily Bell’s claims about its readership numbers in my January 1, 2012 article, “I call bollocks on the Daily Bell’s reported monthly page hits.” That was the first time you confused “hits” with “page views” and came up with your own hybrid term only recognized by you.

    In fact, you write, “Mish’s stats show he had 21,262,533 page hits for all of 2011.” This is consistent with PAGE VIEWS, given that Mish’s website is a bigger site than DBs. There is no terminology I know of that features “page hits.” The correct term is “page views.” Until, I wrote to you recently, you never acknowledged that you built your entire case, and numerous shrill accusations around your confusion between “page views” and “hits.”

    • You write, “I don’t rule out the possibility that they reached 17 million hits in a month through deceptive means like pinging their own servers.” Even without acknowledging your confusion between “page views” and “hits,” you now admit you do not know what their internal numbers show.

    • You write, “My question to the so-called alternative media is, now that it’s been documented that the Daily Bell lied, what will you do about it?” Really? Why should anyone bother with this hyped up fiasco when you’ve consistently confused page views with “hits” – a grade school mistake – and admit you do not know the internals of DB’s analytics?

    • You write, “I predict that their readership will continue to go up, and that Lew Rockwell and Alex Jones will continue to link to their articles.”

    You predict their readership will go up! But you’ve never reacted your previous statement that DB “has sunk into inefficient obscurity.”

    It’s really sad to see such unfounded accusations and raises significant questions about The Daily Knell and your own website. I’ll leave readers to decide about your veracity and motivations …

    Finally, I’ve noticed you claim to track DB’s monitoring of your website. At this point, I don’t trust anything you write, and with good reason. But I would track it too if I were being regularly lied about. For those unsure about this controversy, let me provide some background from “A Short Primer on Alexa…”

    Here we learn the following:

    “First of all, what is Alexa totally useless for? Answer… measuring your own traffic. You have a far more reliable tool at your fingertips — your own traffic stats tell you with great precision how many visitors you’re getting. So don’t be depressed by an Alexa ranking of 1,000,000 if you have 5,000 visitors per day.

    “What is Alexa great for? Answer… Comparing how you are doing against your competitors. The odds are your visitors and their visitors are similar in nature so they likely use Alexa to a similar degree. That means not much bias when you stay within an industry … “

    **

    We see from this that Alexa supposedly provides adequate comparisons but that it is “totally useless” for “measuring your own traffic.”

    DB certainly knows what its traffic metrics are. You don’t. You don’t even know what a “page view” is. This whole “controversy” is based on your confusion over metrics and your determination to be malicious. The question people should ask is “why?”

    And that is why I’ve responded.

    I find it chilling that these sorts of unfounded accusations can be leveled and repeated by the alternative media. It smacks of the “big lie” – and we all know who came up with that concept, don’t we?

    • The Daily Knell permalink*
      November 19, 2012 7:35 pm

      “This confirms my previous supposition that Alexa released those stats in error, as of the four categories, only two were ever completed by the Alexa back office. This renders your PREVIOUS article – claiming that DB had adopted an elite methodology – erroneous. No doubt you will claim that your intrepid “reporting” caused the take down.”

      FauxCapitalist will probably write a more detailed reply to this comment on his blog, but it is worth pointing out that it is very unlikely that the stats were released in error, or that the DB did not voluntarily agree to have its site metrics certified by Alexa. Please have a look at this and click on the “How it Works” tab:

      http://www.alexa.com/siteowners/certify?site=thedailybell.com&ax_atid=9e2f23eb-b90d-4761-ab38-091bd4e27320

      Basically, this tells us that in order to get the “Certified PRO” site metrics, the Daily Bell must have installed, on each page of their site, a piece of Alexa code, and Alexa then scanned the site to make sure that the code was on each page. It is important to emphasize that this is according to Alexa’s own documentation, so we will let our readers evaluate the truthfulness of Abu Aardvark’s remark that “Alexa released those stats in error” with that piece of information in mind.

    • FauxCapitalist permalink
      November 20, 2012 3:30 pm

      Why would you say you’re not a “DB agent” in quotation marks when I never used such words in any article, nor implied it?

      As for pageviews vs. hits, I already explained my use of the two words in a reply to your comment on a previous post.

      I won’t address the other points you raise now, since they get us away from the matter alleged in this article.

      You say I have no knowledge of whether the DB indeed adopted an “elite methodology” of Alexa’s CERTIFIED PRO web statistics, and you surmise that what Alexa had previously shown was just a glitch.

      Care to comment on this screen capture I have from yesterday clearly showing the DB’s inclusion of an Alexa verification ID on their home page?

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