Pageviews Dead: Killed by RSS, AJAX, Widgets

I’ve stopped tracking my web stats. I’ve only got one site left on the useless Google Analytics and haven’t visited the reporting page in forever.

Incoming links and comments are the useful measures to me. Those tools are nowhere as mature as they need to be. Then again, I’m not looking for investors, advertisers, or the press. I’m looking for a way to share my thoughts with you on your terms.

Ev has the same complaints about our current metrics as I mentioned in the above rant:

“But Ajax is only part of the reason pageviews are obsolete. Another one is RSS.”

Also, this beautiful dig on MySpace.

“…part of the reason MySpace drives such an amazing number of pageviews is because their site design is so terrible.”

A little more eloquent than this:

“God I hate MySpace so much.” – Brad Sucks

3 Replies to “Pageviews Dead: Killed by RSS, AJAX, Widgets”

  1. Seems like the replacement to pageviews is time spent viewing. When the browser clicks away from your site, you no long have the eyeballs of that IP address. While they’re looking at the site, track how many rotating banner ads you display, and possibly use some kind of ajax/layers to attract their eyes when they do something ad-worthy. Even if pages don’t reload you can still tell what content the user is accessing. Perhaps use an “invisible” mouseover– take note when the cursor passes over things but use that information to know what the user’s looking at, not to make anything change on screen.

    With regard to RSS, I think it would be a good idea if it included some means to let bloggers know when a person is viewing their feed, or has subscribed. It could be an optional thing in a feedreader. That would let RSS grow as a commercial endeavour, because it would be a means to measure viewership.

  2. Because of the stateless nature of HTTP, long time-spent viewing doesn’t really tell us anything. Google is an example of something hugely valuable where we spent microseconds. So, perhaps each page load starts a timer – the more time I spend there, the less valuable it is.

    Secondly, server log data already tells us the bits about RSS. I’ve talked earlier about no-brainer, customer-centric ways declare readership.

    Either way, none of these techniques are actually refined enough to provide real value.

    Pageviews are dead – which means we actually have to focus on metrics that actually matter. What are they?

    Depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Preferably something that we can’t write a robot to do for us.

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