Notable Quotable: Measure Your Site’s Success by Time Spent, Not Page Views
In a world where technologies like AJAX allow web publishers to push new information to pages without refreshing, the amount of time a user spends on a site — along with the total number of unique users — has replaced the page view as the most important audience measurement metric.
Josh Catone then goes on to describe a Google Webkit-based application that "tracks exactly what on a page a person is looking at and for how long by measuring the time each piece of a page is visible on the user’s screen." Amazing. But considering how often I leave browser windows open while I’m doing something else (talking on the phone, etc), I hope it has some sort of inactivity cut-off (like 20-30 seconds of no mouse movement, or something?)
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