Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nielsen website ratings?

I see this and wonder what drugs they take. Don't they know anything about HTTP protocol. The problem here, assuming this article isn't a joke, is all websites are not coded in a way to measure how long a person is at that site. You have to go to extra lengths to put in code to eat the server and clients bandwidth. Not something everybody wants to do. And even if the website has added code the client may have his browser set to ignore nosey websites. Now assuming you have a website coded like this and elderly people who don't set their browsers to ignore this you must still worry about people leaving their computer pointed at a website.

Nielsen? Aren't these the people who made TV so bad nobody watches it anylonger. (Unless they are trying to learn another language.) What idiots.

Nielsen adds time spent on sites to Web rankings
Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:30PM EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nielsen//NetRatings, the media research firm, will overhaul the way it measures the popularity of Web sites, moving to add two new yardsticks to its service, it said on Tuesday.

The move follows growing criticism of how Internet user behavior is measured and how the value of Web sites is determined, both of them key factors in convincing advertisers to shift more of their spending to the Web.

Currently, advertisers and online sites often use so-called page views, or the number of times a page was viewed by users, to judge the audience a site attracts.

Nielsen//NetRatings, however, is introducing measurements that will show the total number of minutes per user and the total session per user on Web sites.

The move is intended to give a better picture of audience activity online, given that users are increasingly spending more time with one site watching videos or messaging, for instance.

As one example, Nielsen//NetRatings noted that visitors tend to spend more time per page on Google's YouTube than they do on News Corp's MySpace, since they are primarily watching videos. That means fewer page refreshes and fewer page views.

When ranked by total minutes, Time Warner Inc's AOL and Yahoo would have been the top brands in May, with 25 billion and 19.6 billion minutes, respectively, largely because of their instant messaging and e-mail services, Nielsen//NetRatings data show.

That compares with a ranking of unique visits to the site, which puts search leader Google ahead at 110.2 million.

Internet media companies, search providers and marketing agencies have long touted the ability to track how a user might react to an ad online as a major advantage for Web ads over television and other media.

But in recent months Nielsen//NetRatings and another closely watched tracking firm, comScore Inc., have faced scrutiny over the way they measure audience. In April, the Interactive Advertising Bureau asked the two firms to allow a third party to audit their ratings practices.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch)

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