Dec 14

Marc Hedlund

Marc Hedlund

Fast Forward: December 14th, 2006

  • I'm very glad that Jason Kottke is continuing his war on multiple-page articles. I'll pile on and say, does any advertiser really take readership numbers seriously from sites that do auto refresh (when the page forces a reload a few minutes after you load it)? Yahoo! News Most Popular, for instance, refreshes every five minutes. I remember when that started, and people said it was to make sure you always had "the freshest news"; I don't think I need five minute updates on which articles are the most emailed right now. I'd much rather be allowed to leave that tab open while I read its articles, and not have to search around for what changed when I go back. If you think I'm seeing your ad on that page while I'm spending 10 minutes on another tab, I'm not.
  • Hillel Cooperman, who I've covered on Radar before, recently started his own software development shop, Jackson Fish Market. He's just posted a note saying that he's looking for people to help out. I don't know what he's doing, but if I were free and living in Seattle, I'd be calling him.
  • My friend Freeman Murray took a line from one of my posts and ran with it. I like what he wrote -- this is the summary of his talk for the BarCampPune in India this weekend. Go Freeman!

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Comments: 4

  dangit [12.15.06 01:56 PM]

Macworld really shits me the most with page refreshes. It refreshes way more often that 5mins, it seems. And that's on an article page! I'll be in the middle of reading an article, and suddenly the page goes blank and reloads - presumably just so they can get more banner ads loaded. I don't see any other reason for this obnoxious behavior.

  Douglas Clifton [12.15.06 03:41 PM]

On point #1 -- the Washington Post does this on their home page. It drives me up the wall: Please stop or at least give the user the option of disabling autorefresh.

  Michael Moncur [12.18.06 04:44 AM]

I make my living from web advertising so I can sort of answer your question: "does any advertiser really take readership numbers seriously from sites that do auto refresh?"

No. In fact, advertisers care far more about unique visitors than pageviews, and if you asked an advertiser what the optimum number of pageviews-per-visitors was for an ideal site to advertise on, they'd say "one."

But that's an individual advertiser. If you happen to have six different advertisers, each looking for as many unique viewers as possible, you can coax a visitor into staying for six pageviews, with a different ad on each one.

Now normally these views would be something the user clicked through to - hence kottke's justifiably maligned multi-page articles - since most advertisers and networks don't allow page refreshes at all. But sites like Yahoo! News can make their own deals with advertisers.

Ideally your site would have a good compromise between unique visitors and pages-per-visitor. Ten visits is a good number. But increasing this number by forcing users to wade through multi-page articles is just bad site management. There are ways to do it without annnoying visitors - for starters, try creating some more interesting pages for them to read!

  Anonymous [12.20.06 08:28 AM]

use saft, for safari. block flash, images and html refreshes.

not free, but cheap.

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