Page Views Are Dead – What Comes Next?

Its been a while since I pointed out one of Steve Rubel’s blog posts but he makes an interesting point today in calling out for a replacement for page views and an improved system of metrics for tracking web statistics. Allen Stern at Center Networks also makes an interesting post on the death of a metric (in page views). He’s also started a wiki for it.

I’ve neglected looking at web statistics of late, barring KilkennyMusic.com as I develop a plan for 2007, but I always hold in the back of my mind that you should be monitoring your statistics in order to better serve those visiting and utilising your web site and services – thats why we have the likes of StatCounter, Mint and Analytics.

Page views is always something thats pissed me off though as a misrepresentation of how many people actually use your site. Fair enough, you know its an interesting page or article but views in no way reflect unique visitors or a strong way to measure browsing trends. If we can dig a little deepers or at least fine tune the process then we can understand a bit more about our web visitors. In the meantime though, I’ve a feeling I’ll be keeping an eye on those above posts.

  • Joel

    Page Views, as outdated as they maybe, were never meant to be a representation “of how many people actually use your site” That’s what Visitors and Visits are there for. Page Views, as you know, were born out the fact that a “hit” was an overinflated measurement from the days of log-based file applications.

    Page Views should always be used in conjunction with Visits and Visitors in order to understand depth of site visits or visitors by certain segments.

    Page Views are increasingly (and quickly) becoming irrelevant in the face of new web technologies that allow sites better user experience (like ajax) but are no longer page views, but an event or series of events.

  • http://www.kenmc.com Ken McGuire

    Exactly, moreso in an ajax environment where pages are literally irrelevant. Even in the most dynamic environments though we don’t have enough of a common ground with statistics – whether page views, visits, visitors, or otherwise. Maybe a ‘statistics standard’ should be in place?

  • Joel

    Not sure I agree with “a ’statistics standard’ should be in place?

    What really needs to take place (and it is starting to happen, but slowly) is allowing site owners to define what is important to them on the “page” by a series of events and attribution (or accreditation) of events by the Visitor or set of visits.

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