Neither page views nor time spent matter to advertisers as much as ad performance

Nielsen/NetRatings needs you to care about audited metrics. That’s how they make their money.

I’ve just never been convinced online advertisers care about audited metrics. In more than a decade of doing online publishing, I’ve never had an advertiser ask me or one of my reps for audited traffic numbers. I’ve only heard tall tales of national advertisers asking for such numbers.

Online advertising — and maybe all advertising — is about performance. Whether you’re selling CPC or CPM-based advertising, if you can’t deliver results commensurate to your characterization of your site’s performance, you won’t retain advertisers.

The trend in online advertising is more toward performance metrics every day.

That’s why Nielsen swamping out the imprecise page view measurement for the equally imprecise time-spent metric seems so very unimportant.

For Nielsen, it’s all about revenue — their revenue, not yours.

UPDATE: BTW, how meaningful is “time spent” in the age of tabbed browsing? I might leave a tab open for hours before going back to a page and re-engaging in whatever I was doing earlier.

6 thoughts on “Neither page views nor time spent matter to advertisers as much as ad performance

  1. […] A month or so ago Nielsen/Netratings published statistics that seemed to suggest that the average nytimes.com visit lasted an unbelievable 30 minutes. Asking around it seems that the figures really were unbelievable – no-one believed them. […]

  2. UPDATE: BTW, how meaningful is “time spent” in the age of tabbed browsing? I might leave a tab open for hours before going back to a page and re-engaging in whatever I was doing earlier.

    Just like folks leaving their TVs or radios on in the background while they do other things, right?

  3. The fact that they’re counting instant messaging toward time spent causes another oddity along the lines of the tabs. I have IM on for ages. It doesn’t mean I’m seeing the ads, or anything at all. Same goes for the tabs.

    Personally, I think trying to narrow down stats to just two important metrics is irrational. You need a more holistic approach.

    What I recommend is a sort of credit score for Web site traffic. The score should take into account page views, uniques, time spent and whatever else we decide is important. The score absorbs all those characteristics.

    If I were a math whiz, I’d create a score. Any math genies out there? (Yes, I said genies.)

  4. […] Neither page views nor time spent matter to advertisers as much as ad performance Online advertising — and maybe all advertising — is about performance. Whether you’re selling CPC or CPM-based advertising, if you can’t deliver results commensurate to your characterization of your site’s performance, you won’t retain adverti (tags: advertising online+advertising local) […]

  5. […] Neither page views nor time spent matter to advertisers as much as ad performance – howardowens.com “Online advertising — and maybe all advertising — is about performance. Whether you’re selling CPC or CPM-based advertising, if you can’t deliver results commensurate to your characterization of your site’s performance, you won’t retain advert (tags: internet audience measurement advertising trends) […]

Leave a Reply