From early days till 2008 web information company Alexa‘s web traffic stats were almost exclusively relied on to rank the Wikimedia projects against other web properties. The rise of Wikipedia in the ranks from a top 100,000 to a top 10 position was closely monitored and documented in several Wikipedia articles, one of them being Wikipedia is more popular than …
The Wikimedia Foundation now has access to other metrics as well: major internet marketing research company comScore generously provides us with free access to their Media Metrix and World Metrix data on a regional level (grouped countries). WMF board member Stu West maintains a highly recommended analysis page based on monthly comScore results.
Both companies has different methods to acquire and process their data, and have variations in how they define central terms, so our place in rankings may differ somewhat. comScore puts Wikimedia in 4th place in number of unique visitors in February 2009. In the same month Alexa ranks us 7th, but using a different metric, based on a combination of unique visitors and unique page visits, which due to its aggregation is somewhat less transparent I would say, but still has historic relevance for us.
A week ago Alexa overhauled their web site. They improved the presentation, and made figures more accurate by a factor of 10 (a decimal point matters in stats) and also added new metrics. We can learn from Alexa that India ranks as 4th country in terms of unique users of wikipedia.org. Also Alexa shows us our place in the rankings on per country basis (although again based on a ranking algorithm that is not so easy to interpret).
New metrics are : bounce rate (percentage of visits to wikipedia.org that consist of a single page turn: 3 months average 45%), and time on site (3 month average: 5+ minutes). Plotting our metrics against those of arbitrary other web properties remains fun and easy to do. Too bad that Alexa now only plots data for the last one and a half years at most. They used to publish charts that went back to 2002, but that went overboard before the site overhaul.