Unique users to become ABCE metric of choice

December 6, 2006

Good news that ABCE (those people who certificate traffic for advertising purposes) are to move to using unique users as the metric of choice from January 2007. It’s about time we moved away from the irrelevant page impressions metric which has been so easily faked for so long.

With the advent of web 2.0 page impressions have become even more irrelevant especially with the Ajax based page refresh approach.

So this is a really good move and will help advertisers work out if a site is worthwhile paying to be displayed on. But (there’s always a but), how is a unique user defined??

There’s a number of issues around this:

  • A unique user could just be hitting a site by mistake and disappear in seconds. Is there a minimum time that they must be active?
  • Unique users are usually counted by IP or cookie (is there another way?). So two unique users could actually be the same user.
  • Sites can drive huge amounts of unique users to their website through a campaign, but when that finishes the volume may disappear completely. So maybe the metric could be an average over a number of months?

Still, all the above applies to page impressions and a whole lot more so this is a big advancement that will help advertisers gauge a sites worth much more accurately!


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