Nielsen/NetRatings Changes Measurements

The success of sites embodying AJAX has driven a need to change the way websites are measured. Generally, most sites are measured by “page views” or how many pages are viewed on a site. If you were to read 5 blog entries on TMCnet this week your views would be counted towards TMCnet’s page view number.
As more sites embody AJAX and video, there is no need for a page to refresh and as such a person could spend many minutes on a website and only view a single page. So the current system favors sites which refresh often such as a Google or Yahoo.
PC World reports that Nielsen/NetRatings will start measuring total time spent on a site as their primary metric and page views will be secondary.
"It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement," Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings said. "Total minutes is the most accurate gauge to compare between two sites. If [Web] 1.0 is full page refreshes for content, Web 2.0 is, ‘How do I minimize page views and deliver content more seamlessly?’"
The biggest drawback to Web 2.0 sites is the fact they cannot display ads properly. Why? Generally, new ads are introduced to a page when it refreshes. If you don’t refresh the page how can you show new ads? Well in reality, new ads will likely show up every X seconds on AJAX and video sites. But until consumers and the advertising community get comfortable with this change there will be lost ad revenue on Web 2.0 sites.

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