Death of the page view, continued…

February 15, 2007

In this previous post I mentioned the ABCE’s desire to move to unique users as a measure of traffic to a website and the coming death of the page view/impression. To update that I’d like to point you all to this post by Steve Rubel which surmises what should really be used to replace page impressions as the metric that matters. Remember that with the advent of Ajax many websites do not request new pages, rather they respond to user driven events and supply content dynamically to the same page.

Steve has come up with three possible new metrics:

  1. He starts with events; now this seems a good choice as it can catch user events on Ajax pages and interactions with RSS feeds etc
  2. He then mentiond unique visitors
  3. And continues with time spent on web pages; this is a useful measure of the quality of a sites content. Our site is extremely content rich and as such we experience long user sessions, this is great for advertisers as a measure of a sites value to them.

So which should it be? Well, in my opinion a combination of all three would be best. In these days of dynamic, active websites using a single measure is never going to give a fair comparison between sites with vastly different technology profiles. If someone can come up with a formula which takes into account the myriad ways a user can be measured then they will have a hold grail for online marketers everywhere!

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