I couldn’t agree more and again less with a couple of points in this Washington Post story about Nielsen adopting time spent as the new way to measure the popularity of sites. “Social networking sites versus search sites have very different levels of engagement,” (“Jennifer Simpson, a senior analyst for Yankee Group) said. “You might spend a minute and a half doing a Google search and spend five to 10 minutes on a friend’s MySpace page. It’ll be interesting to see the shift in advertising dollars.”
Let’s be clear. The average CPMs for social networking sites are lousy because people might be spending a lot of time there, but its hard to get their attention when they’re so wrapped up in hanging out with their friends. Not that you can’t get their attention, but it requires rethinking the typical banner ad campaign and coming up with something that fits the environment. And with an average CPM at under 20 cents, clearly companies are still just figuring out how to do that.
Here’s the one I agree with:
“Sheryl Draizen, senior vice president of Interactive Advertising Bureau, said this measurement method isn’t definitive. While tracking the time spent on Web pages is important in measuring volume, there are other methods to explore.
“We have to be cautious that not everyone leaps to the conclusion that the time spent metric is the replacement to page view metric,” said Draizen, whose group represents online media companies. “We’re not sure what the industry agrees to at this time.”