Monday, July 9th, 2007

Nielsen/NetRatings: Death of the page view

Category: Editorial

As soon as Ajax took off, the community discussed how it was the nail in the coffin of the page view. Now, Nielsen/NetRatings agrees.

The AP article details two cases where this change in focus will provide a noticeable change in bigco rankings:

“Ranking top sites by total minutes instead of page views gives Time Warner Inc.’s AOL a boost, largely because time spent on its popular instant-messaging software now gets counted. AOL ranks first in the United States with 25 billion minutes based on May data, ahead of Yahoo’s 20 billion. By page views, AOL would have been sixth.

Google, meanwhile, drops to fifth in time spent, primarily because its search engine is focused on giving visitors quick answers and links for going elsewhere. By page views, Google ranks third.”

There will be a continued shake up as processes and software readjusts and slowly works out how to measure the attention economy and beyond:

It’s not yet a totally satisfying change, because with the likes of Google you want to somehow measure relevancy and with blogs you want to measure engagement. But it’s at least a step away from page views, which have become too easily exploited – not just by some blogs, but also by the likes of Facebook and MySpace (which both make the user go through extra clicks to get to what they want). What do you think of this change by Nielsen?

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:46 am

3.6 rating from 14 votes


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It’s an interesting change, and one that had to happen so that sites can properly gauge their reach. That said, sites which depend on a CPM advertising model depend on page views to generate revenue, such sites will be less supportive of the change and won’t be eager to take it up as a standard.

Comment by Daniel, Fashionising — July 9, 2007

The only issue here will be for the sales staff of these big sites. The really big sites use CPM, which of course relies on pageview counts. An ajax heavy site greatly minimizes this so sites will either have to resort to rotating the ads every few seconds via javascript or come up with a different revenue model all together.

maybe CPM could mean Cost Per Minute? Or there should be a Cost Per Second.

Comment by Robert — July 9, 2007

You beat me by a few seconds there Daniel :)

Comment by Robert — July 9, 2007

Yeah, sorry about that Robert :D

Are there any big ad networks which currently permit the use of rotating banners? All the CPM networks we rely on at Fashionising list it as a no-no in their terms.

Comment by Daniel, Fashionising — July 9, 2007

This seems like a necessary and logical change, but I don’t think it yet truly gets to the heart of the matter, which is user engagement. Seems like “time spent” could be manipulated almost as easy as page views. I’m also wondering aloud if tabbed browsing (keeping a site like a Google homepage open in a tab all day) could skew the statistics for time spent?

Just a thought. Thanks for calling attention to the article; I’d missed it.


Comment by Jim Cota — July 10, 2007

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