Tool to find how big websites really are…

Many wee websites claim 100,000s hits, even though a hit means nothing. If you really want to see how big a website is, the rather clever Google Trends will now allow you to map the popularity of sites against each other.

What Google Trends usually does

Google Trends is a free tool for people with websites to see which terms are searched more.

For example when writing an article on breakdown cover, we check which more people search for: breakdown cover or roadside recovery. This then helps decide what we call it (as you want people to find what they’re looking for).

It’s fascinating and lets you see such arcane triviality as who’s searched more: Jade Goody or Paris Hilton (both worldwide and UK only).

The new website popularity measure

Now once you put in an initial term search (use commas to separate values), the next pages allow you to search websites for traffic. Here, by comma separating web addresses, you can see what’s more popular in any given country.

Here’s an example: I’ve pitted this site against and in the UK and it maps Google’s data on visitor numbers.

While you can have fun with this, it is also a good indicator (though not foolproof) of a website’s legitimacy. If it’s got big traiffic it’s more likely to be legit. I’ve previously suggested other tools to search for web accuracy (see my journalists stop quoting hits past blog) but this new Google tool’s likely to be much more accurate.

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