11 July 2007

Quality Time

Influential U.S. market research firm Nielsen//NetRatings has announced that its website comparisons will begin emphasizing how long visitors spend on websites, rather than how many times they view a page, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.

Until now, website popularity rankings have favoured sites such as AoL that attract heavy users of e-mail and instant messaging. The move is likely to benefit sites such as MySpace that emphasize user engagement.

The new form of measurement is not anticipated to change where advertisers are putting their dollars online. But it might change the way websites are structured. For example, there would be less incentive to spread newspaper stories across multiple pages in order to increase page views.

More varied online content, including the growth in video, as well as technological changes in how pages are constructed and updated, have lessened the utility of page views as a usage indicator, industry observers say.

An Associated Press version of this story is available through Yahoo! News.


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