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The Internet Businesses Google

New Web Metric Likely To Hurt Google 226

StonyandCher write(s) with news that one of the largest Net measurement companies, Nielsen/NetRatings, is about to abandon page views as its primary metric for comparing sites. Instead the company will use total time spent on a site. The article notes, "This is likely to affect Google's ranking because while users visit the site often, they don't usually spend much time there. 'It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement,' said Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings. '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?"'"
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New Web Metric Likely To Hurt Google

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  • Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <greg@gksnetworks.com> on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:14PM (#19808677) Homepage
    Not spending a lot of time on a search engine is a GOOD thing. It means the engine is doing what it is supposed to...direct you quickly to what you are looking for.
  • Re:But (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wish bot ( 265150 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:14PM (#19808679)
    This was the rage about 10 years ago - pages had to become more 'sticky', or so marketing people told everyone. I think this led directly to the demise of the blink tag - no one could bear to look at blinking text for any period of time. You made a page more sticky by providing better and more in-depth content. What actually happened is that sites started splitting up content over 10 or 20 pages, alla ad-view-generating tech sites today. Prepare for unending mazes of content to make you stay much longer on one web site.
  • Re:Idiotic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nacturation ( 646836 ) <nacturationNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:17PM (#19808697) Journal

    In my experience, most people don't bother to close their browser when they are done browsing. It's even worse for people used to tabbed browsing. How many times do you shut down the computer at night with tabs containing something you looked at with your morning coffee? I know I do as often as not.
    That doesn't matter. Assuming you don't have some kind of page refresh every n seconds, most analytics software have timeout values between page loads. If you don't close your browser and then come back the next morning and continue where you left off, the analytics software should see that it's been more than 30 minutes between page loads and consider it a new visit.
  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:25PM (#19808763)

    Sessions is what they'll use- and it'll be what many analytics (google included) use for measuring time spent at a site.
    Is that why I've been getting page views that take forever to close their connection? They're keeping a download incomplete so that they can measure when the client gives up as time visited per page?

    Anyway, they shouldn't just abandon page hits for time spent. Lots of quick impressions should be just as valuable as a few long impressions, maybe even more so(1) depending on the type of ads being sold (static splash vs. animated flash).

    (1) Spell-check says "moreso" isn't a word? I'm sure I've seen it before.
  • by eln ( 21727 ) * on Monday July 09, 2007 @10:43PM (#19808897)

    What about pages that you can really spend days to weeks at a time staring at
    Most of the sites that make their money on ads have about 3 words of content and 57 ads per "page" of an article, so this really won't be an issue.
  • Unlikely, trust me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bandman ( 86149 ) <bandman@gma i l .com> on Monday July 09, 2007 @11:27PM (#19809235) Homepage
    If even half of users work like I do, then Google isn't going to suffer...in fact, they might even gain a score higher. Here's why:

    I would estimate that for 80% of my day, I have Google open.

    Sure, I might not be looking at the page, in fact I'm probably not. I'm probably on one of the 15 tabs that I've opened from the search results. It might take me 5 minutes, or it might take me an hour to work through the results, but eventually I get back to the Google tab, and either search again, or close it.

    If I close it, I'm willing to bet not 20 more minutes go by until I'm back there. I also have Google's personal homepage as my homepage, so it already has a head start.

    No, I don't think this is going to hurt Google at all.
  • Re:Hurt Google? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @11:34PM (#19809293)
    IANAGE* but I don't think that Google cares one bit about the Neilsen ratings, because they don't charge their advertisers based on "page views" or "session time", and they don't place image and flash ads on their sites. The Neilsen ratings attempt to measure the number of times an advert is seen, or the length of time an advertisement is viewed.

    *I am not a Google employee
  • Google earth (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ehiris ( 214677 ) on Monday July 09, 2007 @11:43PM (#19809351) Homepage
    I definitely spend a lot of time on that and I'm sure a many others do too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 09, 2007 @11:49PM (#19809405)

    When I watch you tube, how long to I look at the ads?

    There are adds on YouTube? I've never noticed. Of course now I think about it, there must be, but I've honestly never registered their presence, which kinda goes to prove your point.

  • Re:Tabbed browsers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fyrewulff ( 702920 ) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @05:37AM (#19810913)
    Speaking of which, has anyone ever actually seen a Flash app that uses the webcam or mic feature? Or do they not supply any good libraries, leaving it to people that would know how to program that sort of stuff (and usually those people are not using Flash, but consoles or a custom hardware device).
  • by benhocking ( 724439 ) <{benjaminhocking} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:18AM (#19812159) Homepage Journal
    I don't know about you, but frequently when I do a Google search, I open up individual results in their own tab. I imagine that I would show up as spending a lot of time on Google in those cases.

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