Fred Wilson: 2007: The End Of The Page View
Om weighs in this morning with the resignation that the page-view model is what we have for a benchmark of web audiences and therefore it is the benchmark we have to live with. Knowing that Om’s GigaOm network is dependent on advertising revenue, he has to conform the prevailing metric in the market, which is the 1990’s Web 1.0 measurement of audience as expressed by page views and unique visitors.
Fred sparked Om’s defense of the PV with this:
“…there are changes afoot in the Internet measurement business. Everyone is recognizing that pageviews matter less now. Ajax and other more modern web technologies allow for new ads to be diisplayed without a page reload. Ad views can grow even as page views decline. I know that there have been a number of discussions about this at the highest levels of the leading Internet measurement firms and the leading Internet businesses. And we’ll be seeing the outcomes of those discussions at some point in 2007.”But it doesn’t even stop there. Web pages themselves are changing, moving from pages controlled by publishers to pages controlled by users.”
I’ll reiterate my position from the point of view of a buyer of traffic, which is ultimately the onus on the site I buy from is not gross tonnage of views, nor even clicks, but the end-of-funnel conversion that occurs on my site after the publisher delivers the traffic into it. This of course is further complicated by the reality that the “deal is everything”, no publisher can control the creative run on the page — AJAX or static — but in the end, when I operate the campaign, optimize the creative, retraffick the placements and optimize the backend landing page for A/B and multivariate possibilities, I will look at those sites or networks which sent in the best traffic conditioned to respond to me.
I don’t buy large numbers. I don’t buy CPMs. I look at publishers as providing me blunt approximations of an audience, and then it is up to me and my agency to put the right offer in front of that audience at the right time. If I believe a publisher’s pitch on gross tonnage, then I’d be buying into the fact that they are pushing forced page refreshes to hit their campaign guarantees (which I did in former lives) are needlessly chunking long stories into multi-jumps to force up their pages per session, and otherwise playing the games with the logs that I played myself.
It takes one to know one and I know that ad impression numbers are wholly unreliable and again, reiterate, that the burden is on the buyer — aka, let the buyer beware — and take responsibility for the user experience once they wind up on the destination site.
Is expensive. $23 bucks a day. Granted it’s Singapore bucks, but still. I’ve dropped $50 since leaving Boston on Tuesday to stay connected. I am totally time-zone challenged right now. It’s Wednesday at 1 pm on Cape Cod. I left Cape Cod on Tuesday at 7 am. I arrived here at Wednesday at 11:30 pm. Now it is Thursday at 2 am.
Singapore? Hot. Humid (gee, it must be on the equator). I didn’t get caned at customs. The hotel is nice. The scotch tastes the same.
Time to eat a sleeping pill and aim for six hours of unconsciousness.
My Weblog: Internet Commerce: Sephora.No, HP, Yes!
“Internet commerce has to be drop dead simple and build a consumer’s confidence. There are two computer purchasing sites that I do business with and which come close to replicating the Amazon.com’s gold standard. In addition to HP’s commerce site, I also like Lenovo. And Lenovo comes close to establishing a sense of community. If i have a problem with a ThinkPad notebook one of the first places i go is to Lenovo.com. The site queries my computer, determines what model i have and establishes its configuration. Logic trees take over from there and pretty soon I’ve found the answer to my question, or more importantly, a solution to my problem.”
Jim makes some good points about getting in-and-out out of a shopping experience in as little time as possible. Usability comes to a sharp point when applied to the transactional web. Where a media site is all about delay and diversion — related links, click here, please don’t go away — a commerce site is all about masking complexity (ship to multiple addresses, remember my account details, find-it-and-buy-it) and getting people in and out of the store as soon as possible. When a consumer has a negative experience, like Jim did at Sephora trying to get a gift certificate, to when they have a positive, like one gets from Amazon’s One-Click, the chances of a repeat transaction are highly predictable.
I had two commerce experiences yesterday — one was with NewEgg as I purchased a new 60 gb 7200 rpm Hitachi drive to revive a dead Fujitsu P2040, the other was at Fujitsu when I tried to get the OEM information on the dead Toshiba drive. Fujitsu failed. NewEgg ruled. Now, Fujitsu was able to find my machine based on the serial number, but had no level of detail about the components. I had to google out to a third-party “enthusiast” site for P2040 owners, look at the discussion threads, find the part I wanted, then hit NewEgg. Fujitsu lost all opportunity of selling me an upgraded drive — I suppose it’s understandable given the complexity of any PC manufacturers catalogue and the impossibility of keeping sunsetted machine information active for any period of time.
I want to hit a site and be recognized as a customer, to be asked how my machine is doing, how that book was I ordered, and then be offered suggestions on how to improve it.