Telegraph's traffic rise sparks measurement review

LONDON - An industry committee is to review the web measurement standards for the UK's national newspaper websites, after rival publishers questioned Telegraph.co.uk's dramatic rise in users over the past two months.

Telegraph.co.uk overtook Guardian.co.uk as leader of the national newspaper websites in today's ABCe results, after attracting a record 18.65m unique users during April, up by almost 10% from March.

Guardian.co.uk, Times Online and Mail Online reportedly first raised concerns after the March ABCe's, when Telegraph's unique users jumped by 38.7% in one month.

The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards , which advises the ABC on its measurement methods, announced today that it would undertake a review of the methodologies.

Jicwebs said in a statement: "The audit figures for national newspapers online, certified by ABCe, are in full compliance with current industry agreed standards.

"The evolution of the analytical approaches means that within these standards minor variances can occur depending on the analytics tools being used to count traffic.

"The review will aim to further improve the comparability of the already robust industry standards by addressing these potential variances."

A Jicwebs spokesperson confirmed that concerns raised by rival publishers were part of the reason for undertaking a review.

Representatives from national newspapers will be meeting in the next few weeks to review metric standards, and any recommendations from this review will be made to the Jicwebs Internet Technology Group sub-committee for further consideration.

Zach Leonard, Newspaper Publishers Association's representative to Jicwebs, said: ''Audit standards must evolve alongside the fast moving digital publishing sector.

"Working closely with Jicwebs and ABCe, we're confident that our efforts in this area will continue to provide robust and transparent data on national newspapers online, so that publishers can continue to trade competitively and fairly with agencies and advertisers.''

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