Controversy over the ranking of news portals
The website’s global ranking tool ‘Alexa.com’ was shut down on April 30 last year. This tool has been helping with content research, analysis, keyword research and more for 25 years. Although Amazon had objections to some aspects of this service, it was acceptable.
But on January 17, a survey organization called ‘Media Survey’ published the ranking of Bangladesh’s online media. However, the organization did not mention the method adopted by the survey. What is the basis of their research is also not mentioned.
There has been an outage over the publication of fake rankings by news portals. These organizations are publishing the rankings with data from third parties and without disclosing any kind of research methodology.
This has created confusion among readers and advertisers. Soon after the report was released, social media was in a frenzy. Most of the online media persons reacted angrily to its report.
The contact number given by Media Survey on their website is also not correct. Bangladesh’s top online media outlets have raved about the polling firm.
An American organization called Similar Web is ranking the websites. They claim that they take data from websites’ Facebook pages and Google Analytics. Similar Web has released the latest ranking from October to December 2022.
It said that among the news sites in Bangladesh, Prothom Alo is number 1, Jugantar is number two, Kale Kantha is number three, BDnews is number 4 and Jago News is number 5. The mentioned websites are in the same order in terms of visitors in these three months.
Media Survey, the so-called surveying company, claims that they have published the December ranking with similar web data. But there is no similarity between the December data of Google Analytics and the data of Media Service from where Similar Web takes the data. Even with similar web data, there is considerable variation in media survey data.
The media survey’s baseless findings came out in a post by AFP’s Bangladesh Fact Check Editor Kadruddin Shishir. On Saturday he wrote on his Facebook page, the interesting aspect of the mediasurvey.org website is that it fulfills almost all the criteria of a ‘fake website’!
The website has an about-us tab where they have no identity. There are some texts in Latin which have nothing to do with media/surveys etc. A Google search for this text can be found on many websites; From which it can be understood that website designers use text as ‘sample text’ while creating a website.
The names and pictures of ‘Our Team’ on the Media Serve website are also used as ‘samples’ by various website designers. The pictures are of models. This Vietnamese website also uses the same models’ names and photos in their ‘About Us’ section.
Also providing false information in the Contact tab of mediasurvey.org. Basically, here too the actual name/address/contact method of the website operators is given without giving ‘Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org@yourmail.com; Location: 4462 Settlers Lane, New York, NY 10007; Phone: 123-456-7890+981 547 82 12’ – which is basically another ‘Sample Text’.
Kadruddin Shishir also writes that the website whose slogan is ‘All Media Survey in Single Platform’ and who wants to publish ‘survey’ and ‘analysis’ on various aspects of a country’s media, the names-identity, contact, objectives, funding and Any other information related to their activities including methodology – if there is no transparency in disclosing these, it is better to consider the website as a ‘fake website’.