Yahoo, Google question 'reality' and 'precision' of external data reports

Internet data: how reliable?

During the Yahoo Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call, Sue Decker – CFO and EVP, Finance and Administration said in responding to a question about Yahoo’s search market share:

I think it's important to point out that we think we have been doing very consistently and very solidly in our search market share. The issue has been that the numbers that you all are looking at from an external perspective, the COM Score numbers, don't necessarily reflect the reality of what our own log files talk about. I raised that issue last quarter. We are pleased that COM Score is looking at that, and they are getting closer to what we see as our reality, based on some of the recent revisions they made. But the year-over-year trends are still very distorted in what they are showing and what we have.

During the Google Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call, Omid Kordestani, SVP of Global Sales and Business Development, said in responding to a question about Google’s market share in China and Russia:

in terms of the public data that's out there from research companies, we believe the data is directionally correct. Our internal estimates differ in terms of precision with that data.

In  "Data agendas: PR by the numbers" and "Data hype? Internet data shops kingmakers, rainmakers" I discuss the "powerful weight numbers carry" and underscore the importance of analyzing research methodologies behind data reporting:

The debate should be about the need to judge the reliability, validity and limitations of data presented by any data shop...data presented by any, and all, data services has qualifications.

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