As per today at the end of 2017, is it possible for someone (like a 3rd party organization or a competitor) to know exactly our web traffic stats?

As a webmaster, I don't engage or sign up with Alexa or services like that. The exception would be uing Google Analytics for our own records.

  • 1
    First things first, Alexa is pure junk. Ignore it. I explain why here. webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/58602/… Second, no one can know your sites performance except for Google, Bing, and yourself. The rest is BS. Lastly, how do you expect someone to know the future? That is absolutely impossible. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 5 '17 at 15:59
  • @closetnoc, I don't think he's asking for the future, just trying to say "in this day and age" – Stephen Ostermiller Nov 5 '17 at 18:09
  • @StephenOstermiller Yes. Of course. Clearly somethings can be read two ways. Good answer! Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 5 '17 at 23:51

There are plenty of ways for 3rd parties to collect data and estimate your website stats.

  • If you don't use HTTPS any ISP can view every interaction of their customers with your site.
  • Even with HTTPS, ISPs can count DNS queries for your domain and see the number of connections to your site's IP address and know the bandwidth to it.
  • Traffic sources such as Google know how many visitors they send your way. Since Google is the majority of traffic for most sites, Google knows a lot about your traffic just based on that.
  • Browsers usually have features built in that report all page views to the browser maker
  • Many commonly installed browser plugins report usage of sites to the plug-in maker. That is how Alexa gets it's data whether or not you as a webmaster have a relationship with Alexa.
  • Any third party JavaScript you install on a page allows the third party to count that hit. That is how Google analytics works, but advertising or tools for your site you install this way commonly collect data about your site.

I say "estimate" because most of these ways give an incomplete accounting of your traffic. Third parties typically estimate and extrapolate your total traffic. You as a webmaster typically have the most accurate stats through analytics and server logs.

  • It has been my experience that only Google assuming that Google Analytics is installed, Bing using it's similar offering, or a log file analyzers including those who use a bug to track traffic can offer accurate information. Otherwise, it is impossible to really know. Any site offering site performance data is at best only able to estimate based upon incomplete data. Most are wildly inaccurate while a few do a fair job considering. Amongst these, Alexa is the absolute worst and Semrush seems to be amongst the best. Still, not enough to rely upon. I recommend Piwik and GA. Cheers!! – closetnoc Nov 6 '17 at 0:00

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