back to article How to measure website success? Page views or time?

The yardstick for how the popularity of websites is measured has changed, as analytics firms scramble to reflect how pages are now frequently updated piecemeal and "live" by the host, rather than loaded wholesale by users. Nielsen Netratings, one of the top firms which make a living by telling advertisers and publishers what …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Say that again ...

    "will replace our base journalese with highfalutin Latinate verse, which forces readers to re-read every sentence at least three times to extract any meaning whatsoever."

    You mean we don't already ?

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As opposed to your iPhone script....

    As opposed to your current script that makes every other article something about the iPhone? :-P

  4. Craig

    "Project Honorificabilitudinitatibus".

    I thought el reg Implemented project Honorificabilitudinitatibus years ago.

    Thank feck for Adblock.

  5. Andy Silver badge

    Nielsen/Netratings is a panel

    Pedantry first: Ajax is a JavaScript technology, not a Java one.

    OK, so how does Nielsen measure time spent on a site? Can't be done from the server logs, because HTTP has nothing to say about what happens after a page is served.

    I reckon they can only extrapolate from their panel data, which is indeed just as is done to measure TV audiences. That being the case, the tabbed browsing problem presumably disappears, because Nielsen panellists have software installed on their computers to measure usage. My guess is that this software is a browser plugin, which ought to be able to work out which tab is in the foreground.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Java / Javascript

    error corrected..


    El Reg

  7. Dillon Pyron

    Yup, tabs

    I currently have 12 tabs open on Firefox. Among them are el Reg and Slashdot. You guys are so deep in debt!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You have a trafficking department? I thought you were in the UK not South America.

  9. Ole Juul

    Say goodbye ...

    to the back button.

    Pages will open in a new window and have no clickable links. We might also see built in delays to keep you there longer etc. etc.

  10. dek


    In the best case they can only gauge what is being displayed not what the user is looking at, if indeed they are looking at anything... I'll leave this page up while I go for a coffee.

    Traditional metric based search engines are ultimately doomed I say and the sooner they fold the better.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I wonder

    What are they going to do about people who don't allow JavaScript and have adblockers ? How are they going to measure my activity ?

    I'm not going to download no plugin that'll help them, that's for sure, not if I know what it does.

    And what about people who have several browser windows open at the same time ? I'm not talking about tabs, but about whole windows. Some people have multiple screens where they can do that.

    As always, measuring virtual eyeballs is not an easy task.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm destroying the stats....

    I've been 'viewing' this page and three others on theregister for over 12 hours now. I must remember to close all browser windows before leaving work in future.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash - now there's a thought

    I wonder if it's possible to write a Flash application that checks if it's focussed and phones home with all the info? Thinking of some 'hidden' flash applet that monitors what's happening in the browser.

    Also you used to measure the time spent on a site by measuring the time between clicks - subject to filtering out long times. Obviously the last page can't be checked as you don't know when someone's left the page.

  14. Harry

    Disappearing in a flash

    "I wonder if it's possible to write a Flash application"

    Please do. All sensible surfers will be using firefox and the flashblock extension anyway. On most web sites, flash contributes mainly annoyances which you're better off without -- and any site which doesn't have a non-flash alternative means of viewing any of its *important* content is very seriously breaking the disability discrimination act.

  15. Jimbob

    Not disappearing in a flash

    Flash does not mainly contribute annoyances: poorly concieved or executed content does that, just like badly written code or awful .midi files. The major community video sites typically use Flash player to display video with no complaints.

    Also, Flash has had accessibility / screen reader support since Flash MX (Player 6), I should know, I've built fully accessible flash applications that work like a charm in JAWS (tho they were a bit of a pain to develop!).

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