The Trouble With Web Metrics

Advertisers struggle to agree on criteria for judging sites
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2007 4:00 PM CST
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(Newser) – Worried about how many hits your blog is getting? Stop. Hits are so 90’s. These days, advertisers care about page views… or is that time spent? [User] sessions? Click-through? The web generates metrics like “a fire-hose shoots water,” a top web-measurement exec told the Economist, leaving advertisers groping for consensus on just how to judge a site’s value.

Compared to old media like TV, which is notoriously hard to rate accurately, the web is an open book. Unfortunately, it’s written in geek. The aforementioned “hits” stat fell out of favor because it arbitrarily rewarded image-heavy sites. Newer metrics are more meaningful, but carry their own limitations. Until a super-stat emerges, advertisers will have to look at all of them.