“Nielsen Scraps Web Page View Rankings”

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 10, 2007

Dave’s Comments (Digital Marketing Tutorial Blog): This change by Nielsen/NetRatings in how Web site property popularity is judged is something to keep your eye on. It is more than a simple change in how site popularity is measured – it reflects fundamental changes that are occurring in the way Web content is presented and viewed.

“NEW YORK (AP) — A leading online measurement service will scrap rankings based on the longtime industry yardstick of page views and begin tracking how long visitors spend at the sites.

The move by Nielsen/NetRatings, announced Tuesday, comes as online video and new technologies increasingly make page views less meaningful.

Although Nielsen already measures average time spent and average number of sessions per visitor for each site, it will start reporting total time spent and sessions for all visitors to give advertisers, investors and analysts a broader picture of what sites are most popular.

Currently, sites and advertisers often use page views, a figure that reflects the number of Web pages a visitor pulls from a site.

However, Yahoo Inc. and others are increasingly using a software trick called Ajax to improve the user experience. It allows sites to update data automatically and continually, without users needing to pull up new pages. Page views decline as a result.

Page views also drop as people spend more time watching online video at sites like Google Inc.’s YouTube.”

Read the entire news release on NYTimes.com.