Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Stop counting Pageviews

Last week in class we talked about the way Web site popularity and growth is measured. Advertising agencies want to know how many people visit your site before they pay you for advertising space. Thus, pageviews, a way to measure how many people click over to a page on your site.

With technologies such as ajax becoming very popular among Web sites, pageviews become an obsolete measurement. Instead of loading a new page, new content is loaded dynamically.

So how do we measure growth and popularity?

In class, we said: time.

And so does Nielsen.

The two major firms that track Internet traffic are playing down the significance of ranking Web sites by “page views,” the number of pages viewed on a given Web property each month. Instead, they are offering other metrics, such as time spent or visits.

But there are problems with that, too. I can open up a tab in Firefox (or, now, IE7) and totally forget about it. It’s still counting how much time I’m spending on that site. I get most of my news and daily reading via RSS. No time measuring there.

So, in the movement from “static web” to “dynamic web” what metric system can we rely on?

P.S. These metrics aren’t just used by advertisers. I check my site and RSS stats regularly to see how you all respond to me and to test changes to the site.

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