Following the story on how real estate portal 99Acres is changing with changes the competitive environment, Magicbricks' Head Sudhir Pai responded to its competitors claims of being the leader in the online real estate market, trying to, “set record straight”, saying that 99 Acres has made claims that “simply aren’t true”.
Citing Comscore, MagicBricks has shared data which indicates the following:
99Acres: It’s About Traffic Share
In an emailed response to MediaNama, 99Acres has put it down to interpretation of data: that they’re basing their performance on “traffic share”, and that there is no industry standard to define traffic share.
99Acres’s calculations according to Comscore:
“Info Edge claims to be number one in Real Estate, with 40-41% marketshare, and competitors in the mid-30% range, according to Comscore. Note that MediaNama does not agree with this claim. Share of website traffic does not correspond to marketshare (revenue). We also do not believe that Comscore is an accurate indicator of traffic on a website in India, and their survey methodology has not been explicitly specified. Therefore, we would advise our readers to be skeptical about InfoEdge’s claims of marketshare on the basis of Comscore traffic data.”
That view still holds. Maybe this is a good time for Magic Bricks to tell us how it has performed, in revenue terms.
We are a public company.
As a part of our quarterly results reporting process we give out certain financial and operating metrics every quarter to analysts.
We are often asked on every analyst call about our traffic share in the various verticals (Naukri, 99acres, Jeevansathi, Shiksha) we operate in.
The truth is there is no industry standard to define traffic share.
There are many ways to measure traffic – UVs, TimeSpent, PageViews and so on.
There are many independent tools available to measure traffic and compare it across sites – comscore, similarweb and Alexa to name a few.
Of these the basic similarweb tool is now free and available to everyone while both Alexa and Comscore are paid.
It is also true that our own data is often at great variance with what these tools report ( they, esp Comscore seem to be underreporting our traffic considerably)
It is also true that there are also many ways to game traffic.
UVs can be bought at Re 1 per UV for example.
So in a business like real estate where 2 million UVs are what it takes to be No 1, all it costs to become No 1 on UVs is Rs 20 lakhs a month.
The truth is that no metric is foolproof for even visits, time spent and page views per visit can be gamed.
We have for several years believed that genuine UVs are one way to measure traffic share but a superior though not perfect way to measure traffic share is total page views.
Often, bought UVs give you just 1-2 page views per visit while genuine UVs give you a lot more. Total page views capture visitors, visits, page views per visit in one metric.
The benefit of bought UVs gets nullified to an extent if one looks at total page views.
We at 99acres have been measuring this number to track and report traffic share for a while now using Comscore and recently Similarweb which incidentally we find closer to our real numbers.
We calculate traffic share for all our websites. The formula is explained below.
Traffic Share according to comscore.
Traffic Share according to Similar web is as follows:
Traffic share = ( Total visits * avg. page views /visit)/sum of the above for 5 real estate portals
*Data for housing.com is not available
Having said so we don’t really go by these numbers alone when it comes to measuring the health of our business or our competitors.
In addition to traffic share we constantly monitor and report our revenue, the size of our customer base, our renewal rate, the number of paid listings on our site and so on.
Most of our competitors are private and are not required to reveal these numbers.
Here is how we have been faring on these parameters as well of late.
In the end we believe that the real estate space is large and there is a long way to go.
Less than 10pc of all real estate advertising dollars are spent on the internet.
This number is higher than 50pc for categories like jobs and matrimony.
Traffic shares will fluctuate every now and then when the space sees heightened action.
We are totally committed to and a serious long term player in this space.
Relentless focus on day to day execution to improve the experience on our site for both buyers and sellers is what we like to focus on. This is what we believe ultimately builds long term value.