Monday, March 29, 2010

Pageview Pumping

Interesting perspective, but a little extreme in my opinion...

Pageviews are still an important part of measuring any audience online and how engaged they are with the content. And there are many a tactic available to publishers that help drive traffic, and thus pageviews, and many publishers who do engage in the type of hype-writing described here simply to drive traffic. I work for a media company where we measure success in pageviews, and it is misleading. But breaking articles into multiple pieces is no different than a newspaper continuing a front page article at the back of the section. Are those valueless pageviews as well? Are the advertisers on the back page the victims of a scan? We still need a way to cut things off for people who aren't interested in the remaining 54,632 words in the article and just want to move on to the next thing.

What we need is a way to measure a complete session, and how engaged the user is with the different pieces of content they encounter along the way...

PS. Ads are content...and don't you forget it!

Pageview Pumping:

MG Siegler:

But what interests me about all this is the underlying war going on between those playing the pageview game, and those that hate the pageview game. To put it another (simplified) way: the war between quality versus quantity.

Siegler comes close to getting it, but falls short. Pageviews, as a metric used for directly billing advertisers, are a scam. Publishers game it with sensational link-bait articles and bullshit tricks like breaking articles into multiple “pages”. Advertisers get stuck paying for valueless impressions. Readers get stuck with the sensational bullshit articles, the tricks (like breaking single articles into multiple “pages”), and suffer through too many annoying ads surrounding actual content.

It is, as Jim Coudal and I argued at SXSW, a race to the bottom. Be careful of the “everyones” who say pageviews are imperfect but the best we can do. They’re the ones who are happy with the web as a market for bullshit.

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