Is the reign of the page view over?
Page views, along with unique-visitor counts, are currently the main way to measure Web site traffic. But new technologies like AJAX allow users to get more information from a Web page without reloading, which can throw off traffic data. Now, some industry figures are calling for new metrics.
"The bottom line is that the page view has outgrown its usefulness. The industry needs to embrace change and develop new metrics that measure this new world more accurately," Peter Daboll, Chief of Insights at Yahoo, wrote on a blog.
Is it time to move on from page views? And if so, what comes next?
Blog community response:
"The problem is that it's all about micro now. Marketers want to build sustained relationships with small groups that will hopefully create a multiplier effect. That my friends means death to all traffic stats. They're irrelevant in this new era. Do I expect this to shift anytime soon? Probably not. The advertising economy is built on reach. It's time for it to change to depth."
"The reason Google has been so disruptive is that they abandoned not only page views and impressions but also all audience demographics, and they replaced them with the elegant keyword and click. Clicks have their problems, of course - they can be gamed and they are only a way-point on the way to a destination. But they sure beat the hell out of impressions as a clear measure of advertising value."
"Indeed, it's a tough job measuring online traffic, but before calling for new measurement tools, we should perhaps see why our current model is somewhat broken, or at least not working. The last thing we need is for comScore and NNR to introduce a new metric. To me, these companies are reactive, not proactive. They are historians, not soothsayers."