Wednesday, August 30th, 2006>p> In a new posting on Evhead.com, they talk about the slow demise of something both advertisers and those monitoring a site’s stats will just have to come to grips with – pageviews are obsolete.
Remember when web site traffic was talked about in terms of “hits”? You’d read about how many millions of hits Netscape got per month and other sites bragged about getting 30,000 hits a day. Eventually, we moved away from the term hit because everyone realized it was pretty meaningless.
Pageviews replaced hits as the primary traffic metric not just because they’re more meaningful, but because it also determined how many ads could be served. Reach (number of unique visitors) is also important, of course. comScore/Media Metrix uses uniques as its primary metric, because mainstream advertisers want to reach a lot of people, not just the same people over and over.
But it’s this pageviews part that I think needs to be more seriously questioned.
They note that their reasoning includes the design of the site, including, but not limited to, the introduction of Ajax page loads inside. Even the lightest Ajax usage can have an effect on the overall stats of your site. Most Ajax functionality is made to replace going off to another page to perform a task, so each load of that is lost – along with any ad dollars that might have come from it.
So, the real question he poses is – “what’s a better measurement?” Is there a good way to integrate this new kind of interfacing with our more traditional stats. How do you explain to advertisers that just becaue your page views dropped when putting in this new feature, it’s actually a good thing?