As quite a few of my readers know, I have had numerous interesting visitors to my site over the past few months reading about the Birth Certificate issues and about the collapsing economy.  This morning I had the Department of Defense do a fly by visit and because of all of the strange things that are happening with the analytics of the blog, I wanted to make sure our friends at the DoD showed up on all of my statistical programs.  Imagine my surprise when I see that Sitemeter has not recorded the DoD’s visit, but it is there to be seen on the rest of my blog stat programs.  This is not the first time that this has happened with Sitemeter, but this is the first time I have been able to compare programs.  Once I took all the screenshots needed, I proceeded to cancel my paid subscription to Sitemeter, and you may think about doing the same thing as well.

If this incident is not enough to make you wonder, you may want to check out the cookies that Sitemeter is adding to your site, per Michael Sync.  I actually went through the steps that Mr. Sync wrote about further into this article, and found his information to be true and correct.  Make sure you jump over and read the whole article.

Things you should know before using Sitemeter (4/11/2007)

It’s so sad for me to hear that SiteMeter, a well-known web stats providers, is pushing specificclick tracking and advertising cookies on to visitors of sites using their service. (You may already heard about this since it was happened last month.) For me, that news is pretty new. Actually, I came to know about this when I read this post in WordPress Support Forum.

When it was started?

Actually, nobody noticed about specificclick tracking or cookies of SiteMeter before StatCounter published this post “StatCounter Says NO!” as below in their Official blog on March 25, 2007.

A few months back, StatCounter was approached by an advertiser, offered lots of $$$, and asked to include a spyware cookie on all of our member sites…we refused on the spot.

You install StatCounter to track visitors to your site NOT to open yourself and your visitors up to being spied upon by phantom advertising corporations.

It appears, however, that other players in the world of webstats were happy to take up this offer…

We were shocked to discover just today that another well known stats provider is allowing up to 9 cookies to be installed in the browser of every visitor that hits one of their member websites. This means that the provider is making money by transmitting data on you and your visitors to a third party advertiser. Not only that, but to add insult to injury, the cookies are causing the member websites to load very slowly too.

But StatCounter didn’t mention the exact name of web stats provider.

Sitemeter?

Eric Odom came up with this post as below after doing some reaseaches on different stat trackers.

I use several different stat trackers on all of my sites and blogs, so naturally, I went on a frantic hunt to figure out who had sold out.

In comes Sitemeter…

I have indeed been able to confirm, on two of my own sites, that Sitemeter is sending specificclick cookies onto websites hosting the counter. I immediately removed the counter and now have all of my sites using StatCounter or Google Analytics.

Sitemeter has gone silent today. Not a peep has been mentioned on their blog, and so far my e-mail has not been responded to.

I certainly hope Sitemeter will confront this, bail out on the spam advertiser, and get back on track. If not, users will be sure there is hell to pay.

So yes, it has been confirmed, Sitemeter has apparently sold out to Spyware.

What a shame.

UPDATE: A Digger just e-mailed me the following information.

The parent company of specificclick.net is Specific Media. This was originally spotted by a Digger who noticed the Specific Media logo on the specificclick homepage, which oddly enough, has vanished from the web.

Another interesting tidbit as pointed out on Digg is that at the time of posting this, Sitemeter has NOT YET updated its privacy policy to reflect the deal they did with Specific Media.

I believe that there are a lot of people who are really disappointed with Sitemeter. I wonder how come Sitemeter wanna do like that. Money is an issue? I think, Money should not be an issue for them since they have really nice and popular service and they also have a lot of paid users. Anyway, they are gonna lost a lot of both free users or paid users because of that.

I am currently using Performancing Metrics as one of my outside blogstat programs.  When I find another one that I think is excellent, accurate, and unbiased, I will let you know.

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