Niche publishers are reportedly taking advantage of the Audit Bureaux of Australia’s (ABA) Web Audit Service, with the number of Australian sites submitting for audit more than doubling in the last month – meaning over three million unique browsers per month are now audited.

Sites that have met the stringent measurement rules prescribed by the ABA now appear in the Nielsen Market Intelligence screens with a green verification tick to indicate they are ABA compliant and their traffic is being accurately recorded.

The ABA’s measurement rules cover that web properties can be included under a brand, site categorisation and tracking implementation, particularly in new rich media areas that attract the most risk.

During the recent Audit Bureau of Circulations general meeting, Gordon Towell, ABC CEO said, “For niche publishers it’s an opportunity to increase their visibility to media buyers and planners overall, while for larger publishers it’s a chance to display their commitment to accountability by having their current web traffic measurement processes validated by our audit.”

Publishers who have recently signed up with the Service include CBS Interactive, Sound Alliance, Top Gear Magazine and Haymarket Media, as well as specialty sites such as Westwick-Farrow Media, LexusNexus, Sydney Star Observer and The Monthly, bringing the number of audited sites to 64.

“ABA audited web data means media buyers can now focus on the planning process, rather than analysing data anomalies, knowing that the ABA Audit process has independently scrutinised and annotated any traffic discrepancies. The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) encourages its media buyer members to give preference to audited media,” Carol Morris, executive director of the MFA, asserted.

Towell also noted that the ABA will shortly be convening its first Digital Watchdog Committee meeting.

“The inaugural meeting this month of the Digital Watchdog Committee will bring together senior representatives from agencies and publishers who will discuss topical measurement rules such as auto-page inflation and inclcusion of interstitial ad pages. The ABA welcomes greater input from members who are committed to the audit process,” explained Towell.