The NYT business section today has a piece on the inflated page view numbers at Entrepreneur.com, Heavy.com, Forbes.com and elsewhere caused by the nefarious practice of serving pages whether or not a user requested then. It is boggling to imagine that in this day and age of transparency in all things, that a publisher would stoop to an uninvited pop-up to drive pages.
The other practice that marketers need to take into account as they further plan their interactive marketing plans is the ugly practice by publishers of using an ad serving engine like DoubleClick to force a page refresh on a user whether they request it or not. This is a very popular tactic to push at-risk campaigns over the top towards their goals.
Another nail in the coffin of ROS display advertising. From the article:
“The concern over pop-up content goes beyond traffic numbers. Many advertisers pay premium prices to reach readers of certain Web sites. Through pop-ups, these advertisers may find their orders are being fulfilled with low-cost page views that users never requested and may never have seen.”
0 thoughts on “Pop-up page views”
I remember working as production manager for a costume jewelry company in the early ’90s. They had gotten in the habit of holding month end and quarter end open a couple of days later to fill and ship as much as they could. Literally the last days of the month were “throw whatever we have in a box, backorder the rest, and ship.”
Once they’d bitten from that poison apple, they couldn’t go back. They’re problably still running a week late on their months, because in order to correct, they’d have had to have eaten a month that was 1/4 short of production. That’s a hard thing to explain to your bankers…
That’s what’s happening to media. Once they go to the well, they’re screwed. They can’t let the page views drop so they start popping stuff up, or drop the number of paragraphs they show before the head over to page 2, 3, 4. All of which increase impressions, page views, etc.
Which is why I was happy to leave online media when I did. Perpetual page view growth is a crack addiction that can’t be shaken. The Web 1.0 publishers are hosed and losing traffic to blog networks, star staffers who leave to do their own blog, and RSS aggregators. Add to that the near impossibility of applying metrics to an AJAX interface and things look more and more like a perfect storm.
I want to know where the Internet Advertising Bureau is on all of this.
IAB’s best bet might be to take the cash on hand and buy lottery tickets.
We’re headed down the road of a major diaspora. Single solutions for single problems. Since none are integrated, we’ll be left to assemble our reports in Excel Swizzle tables. They’ll look nice, we’ll need lots of bodies to assemble them, but in the end the data will still be separate, exclusionary, and suspect.
Are we going to have to do our own aggregation via web services?