August 25, 2006

With the web becoming riverized, i guess pagecount doesn't matter anyway

Our favorite inventor and bloggerfather Ev Williams has an excellent post about traffic, page views, how the old web metrix don't work re: the  new web flow of conversation, etc. Because we now connect and communicate BEYOND the textual hyperlink, page views aren't what they used to be. Poor site design that boost page views by site elements loading individually, those visiting through widgets and RSS feeds--and I'll add the incredible number of referrers coming through misleading or irrelevant search engine results--these are just some of the reasons why a page view isn't a page view isn't a page view.

Ev says...

But Ajax is only part of the reason pageviews are obsolete. Another one is RSS. About half the readers of this blog do so via RSS. I can know how many subscribers I have to my feed, thanks to Feedburner. And I can know how many times my feed is downloaded, if I wanted to dig into my server logs. But I don't get to count pageviews for every view in Google Reader or Bloglines or LiveJournal or anywhere else I'm syndicated.

Another reason: Widgets. The web is becoming increasingly widgetized—little bits of functionality from one site are displayed on many others. The purveyors of a widget can track how many times their javascript of flash file is loaded elsewhere—but what does that mean? If you get a widget loaded in a sidebar of a blog without anyone paying attention to it, that's not worth anything. But if you're YouTube, and someone's watching a whole video and perhaps even an ad you're getting paid for, that's something else entirely. But is it a pageview?

Go read it all.

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