John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

From Now On, We’ll Be Known as Nlsn/NtRtings

Looks like vowels won’t be the only accoutrements to be tossed aside in the rise of Web 2.0. The venerable page view is to be abandoned as well. This morning measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings said it will no longer use page views as its primary metric for comparing sites, but will instead rank them by total user time spent onsite.

Why the sudden change? The increasing popularity of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which allows a Web site to refresh content without reloading an entire page, demanded it. “It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement,” said Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings. “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?’ “

Yeah, that or how do I inflate my page views and capitalize on the resulting publicity.

Anyway … one possible result of Nielsen’s adoption of time onsite as its primary metric of audience measurement will be a decline in rank for Google. After all, no one really spends much time on the site. We visit, conduct our search, and then we’re off. That said, the company could probably care less about such things. If Google has taught us anything, it’s that the most meaningful metric for success on the Web is not page views, but profitability.