Nielsen – one of the leading measurement services used to track online reach and impact – has introduced new metrics that omit the long-time yardstick of page views. Instead, they will put more weight on the total time spent on specific sites and pages, which provides a more robust and accurate gauge of overall traffic and popularity. Much of the reasoning behind the change is to account for changing technology – such as videostreaming and widgets – that reduce the need to change pages to view new content and make it a much less relevant measure of stickiness. The emergence of software like Ajax – which allows content to be updated in real-time on the same page – also reduces the need to click through several pages.  All of this is good news since it suggests that the rating companies and content providers alike are striving to find the most relevant tools to measure reach and impact…and therefore potential value and cost. Remember the early days of the internet when all the talk was about hits?

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