An AP report today states that Nielsen/NetRatings, one of the leading Internet stats services, will “scrap rankings” based on page views and replace it with how long visitors spend at websites. The reason is that online video and technologies such as Ajax “increasingly make page views less meaningful.” We’ve known for some time, but it’s big news if a major stats service like Nielsen/NetRatings officially degrades the importance of page views…Blogs are a good case where ‘time spent’ is more meaningful than page views. Especially since the blogosphere is particularly prone to the ‘quantity over quality’ problem. It’s easy to pump out 20+ posts a day – and that tactic garners a lot of page views. But are those blogs actually writing for their readers, or writing to get page views? In other words, check the ‘time spent on site’ figures for those blogs and I think you’d find it is very low – because users click through, find nothing of value, and quickly leave. Is that good for advertisers on those sites? No it isn’t.
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