The Associated Press reports Nielsen, the doyen multi-media ratings service, will revise how Web ratings rank and factor for Web site visit time, on Tuesday.

AJAX and other Web 2.0 tech changed the game, it seems, so Nielsen will give more weight to Web sites that capture eyeballs for more time and make brief page views worth less. Sites quickly visited (e.g., Google’s search results) will be worth less, and sites viewers dwell on (YouTube?) will be worth more.

Computerworld’s story put it this way:

Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen/NetRatings, said the change was prompted by a continuing increase in the use of AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, which allows a Web site to refresh content without reloading an entire page, and to the growing use of audio and video streaming.

“It is not that page views are irrelevant now, but they are a less accurate gauge of total site traffic and engagement,” Ross said. “Total minutes is the most accurate gauge to compare between two sites.”{snip}

The Webmaster who finds ways to keep eyeballs glued to their pages for longer will win under these new rules. How do we do that without resorting to, say, Stupid Human Tricks or Websites Gone Wild? Maybe less hucksterism, and more news we can use? Join the discussion.


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