Ask.com has announced that they have added site statistics from Compete.com to the binoculars feature in the search results. Now, instead of just getting a site preview, you also get estimated visitor stats, site rank, a line chart to plot this data over time, and a link to a more detailed report over at Compete.com.
Why did Ask.com add this? It helps the searcher not only preview what the site looks like but also tells the user how popular the site is.
Here is a deeper look of the new improved Ask.com Binoculars feature:
I pulled up a search for my site via a query for search engine roundtable. The first thing you notice is the standard binoculars on the left side of the hyperlinks in the search results. When you mouse over those binoculars, that is when you get the new experience.
As you can see, the first thing you see by default is the site preview. It has a snapshot of the site (if available) and shows the page size, load time on a 56k modem, and if the site has any Macromedia Flash elements or a pop up element. But if you look, there is a second tab that reads “statistics;” that is the new tab. Here is a larger image of the preview tab:
The statistics tab comes up by clicking on it, or it should come up by default if the site does not yet have a preview snapshot, like a query for search engine land.
The statistics tab shows a Compete.com provided “people count” line chart plotted over the past seven-months. The chart also documents the estimated visitors for last month and the estimated site rank compared to all sites in the Compete.com database. Finally, the tab has a link to Compete.com for a more detailed report, if wanted.
I am not going to critique the Compete.com stats, but I will quickly say that according to my internal web analytics, my stats did not see a dip and increase like that across those months. Thus, I am not exactly sure how much weight you should put into these statistics overall.