Dec 14

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

AJAX Affects Page Views

BetaNews is examining the comScore Media Metrix report that MySpace has taken the top site away from Yahoo. It is being noted that Yahoo! had recently changed many of their pages to use AJAX, which requires less page views to show the same amount of content.

This is a great issue. How do you calculate the "top site" if the value of page views is constantly changing? By making their site more efficient Yahoo! has potentially hurt itself in the eyes of the sound bite, yet has increased user satisfaction - a better metric for them to care about in the long run.

Instead of page views, Reel Pop is suggesting that we use "average time per user" on a site. This seems like a good metric for all of the content on a site, but what about distributed content? Sites are sending out their content via RSS and Widgets in increasing numbers. This is how many users interact with a site. RSS is becoming monetized; Widgets may become so in the future. How should distributed content from a site be included in a site's ranking?

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 8   | Sphere It

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Comments: 8

  anon [12.14.06 12:13 PM]

I thought we were beyond page views 5 years ago.

  Leo Dirac [12.14.06 04:05 PM]

Getting the most page views is kinda like having the tallest skyscraper in town. It's great for bragging rights, and gets people's attention. But people who really know what's going on will look beyond that. But it's important to remember that generally only a fraction of the world who has any clue what's actually going on.

Page view count does affect ad impressions, which affects revenue for non-CPC advertising. Some pundits might say this kind of advertising is old-fashioned as will go away with web 2.0, but that's not true. It's important for developing brand awareness, and brands aren't going away.

Those of us building sites with rich experiences on one "page" can think about reloading the ad periodically if the user stays on the page for a long time. To be fair to the advertisers this should only be done if we know the user is still sitting in front of the computer (say because they're interacting with the page). This is certainly easier than trying to develop a new advertising revenue model based on how long the user spends looking at the ad.

  BillyG [12.14.06 05:02 PM]

I had read a few weeks back about the effect AJAX has on pageviews in relation to advertising dollars but I can't find it right now, so much for my delicious database lol (not too many things are more annoying than that!).

  Kris [12.14.06 05:35 PM]

I wonder if comScore can even tell the difference between a pageview and an ajax request? Does anyone know? If it can't, then moving over to ajax would not necessary hurt Yahoo's page views according to comScore.

  Search EngineS Web [12.14.06 08:03 PM]

The only problem with the 'Average time spend on site' theory is - Some site BRAND the content of others, but some do not.

Compare Yahoo News, Google News, and MSN News - see the different approaches?

Also some sites use FRAMES for external content - Compare the approaches of DIGG to REDDIT

Perhaps, the simplistic, traditional custom of Numerizing subjects according to One Standard & RANKING, should be abandoned.

  Kyle Mulka [12.15.06 05:22 AM]

I guess it really depends on what you want to measure. This whole ranking of who's site is best on the web is subjective. I think the metric I would look at for my own website is number of unique visiters per day. So, count the number of unique IP addresses (or browsers using cookies) and the more you have the high ranking your website is. But, then again, what if your website only updates once a week and that's when most people come? What if your website is a blog, and people only actually visit the site when they see a new post in your RSS feed? What if they don't even visit your website?

I think that another good measure of a website might be the amount of advertising people are willing to sit through in order to view the content. The more valuable the content, the more ads people will bear. And, if the ads themselves are valuable, you get bonus points.

  JustAThought [12.15.06 05:33 AM]

I've always believed is not how many people you get to see your page, but how many of them return for seconds... and thirds... But that metric is even harder considering internet cafes, wifi, and privacy issues...

  Dave Buster [12.15.06 11:27 AM]

You would come up with some sort of metric that weights the different types of measurements: visits, page views, time spent on site, etc. Much like OPS in baseball.

Site value = (offset1)page_views + (offset2)time + (offset3)visits, etc ...

This would create abalanced measurement that takes into account new improvements like AJAX that obscure the traditional measurements.

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