AJAX and streaming media has killed the page view as the metric of choice for people trying to figure out who's looking at what on the internet. Statistics giant Nielsen/NetRatings will announce today that it will immedately use total time spent by users as the benchmark for measuring internet use.
"It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less
accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement," ... "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?'"
example, he said, MySpace may have 10 to 11 times more page views than
YouTube, but myspace.com users spend only three times more minutes on
the site, Ross added. Therefore, measuring total time spent on a site
will make it easier for advertisers to mold their ads to how users are
actually accessing content, he said.
Big winners in the reshuffling of web rankings are likely to be AOL and others that offer instant messaging and other applications that keep eyeballs hanging around. Big loser might be the mighty Google; people use it often, but rarely look at it for long periods of time. Don't cry for Google, though; they own YouTube, and people gape at that all day long.