Replace meaningless metrics
Danny Sanchez at Journalistopia sums up the decision to quit using page views to measure Web site success. This is a great move for all involved, in my opinion.
Measuring the amount of time each site visitor spends on your site means you’ll be measuring whether people actually find value in your site.
Say I go to site “A” and view eight pages, but I never stay on one page longer than 2 seconds (because I don’t see anything that interests me). I go to site “B” and view only two pages, but I spend 8 minutes on each page.
Current page view metrics say that site “A” is better, more trafficked.
I say that’s just stupid, because on site “A,” I consumed no content or advertising.
As Danny said, using time spent as your chief metric means you will get credit if people hang out watching videos on your site, or interacting in discussion forums.
And as Richard MacManus said at Read/Write Web:
It’s not yet a totally satisfying change, because with the likes of Google you want to somehow measure relevancy and with blogs you want to measure engagement. But it’s at least a step away from page views, which have become too easily exploited — not just by some blogs, but also by the likes of Facebook and MySpace (which both make the user go through extra clicks to get to what they want).
For me, that’s been the horrible thing about the page view metric — padding the numbers by adding unnecessary and highly annoying extra clicks to Web sites. Newspaper Web sites have been some of the worst offenders in this respect.
Update (July 14): The Inksniffer argues that the journalism biz should dump ABC and its whole outdated circulation-based view of the world.