Nielsen//NetRatings has entered the new Web, at long last. Instead of measuring site popularity by page views alone, Nielsen//NetRatings will now factor in how long users spend on sites and the total number of sessions per user on each site. “Total Minutes” and “Total Sessions” will better measure the how users interact with Web, whether they’re spending a few minutes searching on Google or a few hours watching videos on YouTube.
In addition to being a nod to new Web 2.0 technologies and behaviors, the change is the NNR's response to growing criticism from the industry - and a request by the IAB back in April to review their measurement methodologies. With more ad dollars being spent online (even if it *is* still about 7% of overall spend) NNR and comScore's rankings count a lot with media buyers. If their stats aren't accurate -- or reflective of how consumers are using the Web today, advertisers and publishers alike are being shortchanged.
So it may have taken a flaming from every major industry organization to get it done, but kudos to Nielsen//NetRatings for the new metrics.
One note ... confusingly, I've seen headlines that Nielsen has "scrapped" page views. This doesn't seem to be accurate. By their own words, they've ADDED the new metrics and downplayed page views. But htey haven't "scrapped" them - yet.