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by Mark Glaser
This is the second part of MediaShift’s special series on web measurement. In the first part, I looked at the problem of inconsistent traffic numbers from panel-based measurement firms such as comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings, and the push by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to standardize measurements. This week, I look at the philosophical differences between publishers and advertisers on measurement, consider a new solution by startup Quantcast, and dream the impossible dream of one universal online metric.
With all the web traffic numbers and metrics floating around — page views, unique visitors, time spent, sessions — it’s a wonder that anyone can agree to a simple advertising sale on a website. Complicating matters is that the advertising world is used to traditional measurement services such as Nielsen’s TV ratings that rely on usage by controlled panels of people. Online, those panel-based services can rarely gauge traffic on sites with less than 500,000 unique visitors per month. Read the rest of this entry »