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Nielsen changes the way it measures web traffic

Nielsen rankings May 2007
One of the largest companies tracking web traffic is changing its measuring stick. The Associated Press reports that Nielsen/NetRatings will replace page views with time spent on a website as its primary tool for measuring traffic.

Folks have known for a while now that page views don't really tell you what's happening with your site. For example, some of the most visited sites on the internet are search engines. But visitors pop in and out quickly, as they use the tools to find the sites they're really looking for. On the other hand, Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube can offer up loads of content without a single page refresh.

Nielsen will still track page views, but will rank sites based on the new metric.

The move means that Google will drop from the 3rd most popular site on the internet to the 5th, while this blog's parent company moves from 6th place to first. Why the big jump? Because the minutes users spend on AOL Instant Messenger get included in the new rankings, meaning that Americans spent 25 billion minutes using AOL in May, according to the latest Nielsen rankings.

Tags: netratings, news, nielsen, page views, PageViews, web traffic, WebTraffic

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