Nielsen NetRatings Confirms: Pageviews are Dead, Long Live Engagement Timeâ„¢

July 11, 2007

Nielsen NetRatings’ newly released ‘total minutes’ metric measures a site’s popularity based on how many minutes a page was open.  The new release is an improvement over the old ‘page views’ metric which does not take into account the duration of time for which a page was open on a user’s computer. Though an improvement over the older system, ‘total minutes’ does not take in to account the coffee and bathroom breaks of it’s human users. How often have you dropped whatever you were doing on line to go scavenging for food, or to run to the appointment you’ve forgotten about? In our case, it happens every day. Obviously, these sorts of incidents have the potential to skew the results significantly.

Enter ‘Engagement Timeâ„¢’, the technology employed by ClickTale’s analytics. Engagement Timeâ„¢ values the time a user has spent interacting with a page, rather than just the amount of time a page has been left open. Even if you haven’t left your desk chair all morning, there is a pretty good chance that you’re surfing three, four, or even more sites at the same time. Maybe you’ve left something running on your screen to share with a colleague who’s out to lunch. Maybe you were the kind of kid whose mother had to remind them to put away whatever toy you were playing with before taking out a new one. Even though you finished reading the New York Times online edition before your coffee break, you may have neglected to close that window while working with another program.

ClickTale, being aware of this phenomenon, and sensitive to the obstacles it poses, began including Engagement Time™ technology in their recording services more than a year ago. Using Engagement Time™ as a part of ClickTale produces more accurate and meaningful results than any other metrics system on the market.

So go ahead and signup for ClickTale, you can even take a coffee break in the middle of the process. We don’t mind icon wink Nielsen NetRatings Confirms: Pageviews are Dead, Long Live Engagement Timeâ„¢ .

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  1. Claus Sølvsteen Says:
    August 20th, 2007 at 3:13 am

    Interesting point. However it is noteworthy that to media, making a living from advertisement, page views are still a vallid currency and will be for a long time. Hmm – wonder what will replace it. Any ideas?

  2. Steve Says:
    September 10th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    In my experiments in user personality types one of the most interesting things is mouse acceleration. Watching how users use the mouse is fascinating and tells a lot about the personality of the user. Grouping this with other information can create a profile of the user. I think that when companies catch on to this it is the next gen of statistics.

  3. Karenn Says:
    April 26th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with Claus. Pageviews are not dead, and won’t be for a long time. If you’re trying to monetize your blog with ad network revenue, pageviews are the name of the game. However, if you’re focused on user engagement and community instead of traffic, the total minutes metric is valid.

    Like Steve, I think mouse behavior is a far more accurate way of profiling the way users interact with your site. I can view how they scroll down the page, what catches their eye, what they whiz past, what they linger on. This qualitative info is far more telling than a quantitative look at time spent on each page.

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