Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Death of Page View Metrics?

Category: Business

Steve Rubel says page view metrics have four years to live.

The page view does not offer a suitable way to measure the next generation of web sites. These sites will be built with Ajax, Flash and other interactive technologies that allow the user to conduct affairs all within a single web page – like Gmail or the Google Reader. This eliminates the need to click from one page to another. The widgetization of the web will only accelerate this.

This is a dirty little secret in the advertising business that no one wants to talk about. Media companies love to promote how many page views their properties get. They’ve used the data to build equity. They will fight it tooth and nail to protect it, perhaps by not embracing interactive technologies as quickly as they should. But that’s not going to stop the revolution from coming.

As the page view platform crumbles, there’s going to be a shake out. Everyone is going to scramble to find a metric that helps them compete for ad dollars. Enjoy the show.

The question then becomes: What alternatives will be used? Ryan Stewart suggests more emphasis will be placed on how much time people spend with a website, and also an “interaction rate” – how much interactivity there is (mouseclicks etc).

Another likely trend is rotating ads – ads that change periodically and update according to page context.

Posted by Michael Mahemoff at 6:27 am

3.7 rating from 21 votes


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The other “dirty little secret” is, page-views have never been a legitimate measure of web-site effectiveness, either for advertising or for the purpose of the site, itself. Lots of “views” are generated by users stumbling around a poorly-implemented navigation scheme, or clicking nebulous buttons and icons “to see what they do.”

Grasping the reality of web interaction beyond the “page” transaction will force advertisers and site designers to measure effectiveness in more meaningful ways — like tracking unique paths from an ad or other content right through to a sale or other desired action — tying content delivery to genuine ROI.

Comment by ARWolff — December 2, 2006

The big and dirty secret is that 80% of my audience subscribe via RSS and have never made a single page-view on my blog.

So the bloggers who get 10’s of thousands of advertising dollars via CPM must be hitting refresh all day and all night long…..

Comment by paul — December 2, 2006

Those are complete bullshits…
One should make difference between “web site” and “web application” AJAX, Flash, etc for informational web-sites is inappropriate, unsuitable. The old-fashioned “surfing” will never be replaced but those “clicky” toys.
Don’t get me wrong – those “toys” have their strong place on the web – building interactive web applications. But that’s what they are for – nothing else.

Comment by Bozhidar — December 2, 2006

The way PageViews are measured here in Germany on most Websites is in fact measuring user interaction. Even with AJAX users still have to move the mouse to do something on a page – so any user action that results in a content update could still be counted as a PageView.

This method gets problematic when it comes to Video/Audio driven sites, where a metric like ‘ViewTime’ should be occupied. When we implemented the German system in 1996, we had lengthy discussions about concepts like ViewTime. Unfortunately, the owners of TV station related websites didn”t want it because they were in fear of cannibalizing their main content – the TV program.

Comment by vaduros — December 2, 2006

I would imagine any new type of metric would have to do with measuring Audience Reach consistently across various content delivery methods.

Comment by Hinano — December 2, 2006

i think we’re already seeing the next generation of web metrics now — user registrations. look at myspace, youtube, etc. i think they set the trend and this is what future advertisers will be looking for.

Comment by curlyfro — December 2, 2006

great post. There will be new metrics that will emerge. Web 2.0 fails without new metrics

Comment by John Furrier — December 2, 2006

[…] The Ajaxian is asking: Death of Page View Metrics? based on Steve Rubel’s prediction that the metric has four years to live. […]

Pingback by .: On Tokyo Time :. » Page Views Are Already Dead! — December 2, 2006

I’ve seen companies ( I believe), and a few others that have “actual” impressions… where the impression is only counted when the ad comes into complete focus in the window. Hopefully as browsers and marketers become more savvy, smarter metrics like these will cut down on online advertiser spend.

Comment by Jimmy — December 3, 2006

[…] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your ownsite. […]

Pingback by Internet Vibes » Blog Archive » Death of Page View Metrics? — December 4, 2006

Hey wake up, this has been solved years ago in Flash websites – and nothing was broken. However page-views are now more a measure of “user interaction”.
Still I second that the view-time will be the next big thing in views metrics: clients already approach us about this question.

Comment by Philippe — December 4, 2006

[…] Original post by Michael Mahemoff […]

Pingback by Google Blog » Death of Page View Metrics? — December 5, 2006

I agree that AJAX is for web applications not web sites. If people start using AJAX for web sites they will soon disappear off the search engines and that will annoy people? Thats the bigger issue, statistics can easily be created by an AJAX developer for their application.

It’s not rocket science!

Comment by Matt Smith — December 5, 2006

Something to think about, that’s for sure.

Comment by Steve — October 18, 2007

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