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AJAX Impacts The Relevance Of Page Views - According To comScore Networks

College Students Visiting MySpace.com Help Fox Interactive Media Lead The Internet In Page Views

comScore Networks, specialist in measuring the digital age, released a study analyzing the impact of visitation from university locations at the top two Web properties, Fox Interactive Media (which includes MySpace.com) and Yahoo! Sites. Eight percent of all Web content consumed by U.S. Internet users, as measured in page views, comes from university settings. At Fox Interactive Media -- the top Internet property in November on the basis of page views -- 12 percent of content is viewed at university locations, while only 6 percent of page views at Yahoo! Sites occur at university locations.

If college usage is omitted, a comparison of page views at Fox Interactive Media and Yahoo! Sites tells a very different story: Yahoo! Sites, with 35.6 billion page views for November, would rank higher than Fox Interactive Media with 34.9 billion.

Top Online Properties by Pages Viewed November 2006 Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations Source: comScore Media Metrix Total Pages Viewed (MM) % of All Location University Home & Work Pages All Locations Locations Locations Only Viewed at Universities Total Internet: Total Audience (U.S.) 454,212 34,921 419,290 8% Fox Interactive Media 39,529 4,617 34,912 12% MySpace.com 38,727 4,554 34,173 12% Yahoo! Sites 38,052 2,411 35,641 6%

 "Recent media coverage of the total page views for Fox Interactive Media and Yahoo! Sites underscores the critical role that university measurement plays in the accurate reporting of Web site visitation," said Dr. Magid Abraham, President and CEO of comScore Networks. "While some research companies showed a lower page view count for Fox and Yahoo! than did comScore, our data agree that Yahoo! is still the leader if one looks at only the usage from home and work locations. However, the key reason for the apparent discrepancy is Internet usage from university locations, which comScore uniquely measures. In the case of sites such as MySpace.com, which generates a substantial share of their visitation among college students, the failure to account for college users significantly underestimates the true number of total page views. Only comScore, with its robust university sample, is able to provide a comprehensive and accurate view of visitation to all sites."

The recent decline reported by comScore in Yahoo! Sites page views underscores another emerging issue in the Web metrics measurement industry. New technologies such as AJAX -- which enable real-time site updates without needing to refresh a page -- are impacting the relevance of page views as an accurate measure of the intensity of consumers' Internet usage. Yahoo! in particular has begun implementing AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies across their sites.

"The Internet experience today is much more dynamic thanks to Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX," continued Dr. Abraham. "While page views will not altogether cease to be a relevant measure of a site's value, it's clear that there is an increasing need to consider page views alongside newer, more relevant measures. comScore is proud to continue carrying the torch as an industry innovator with the development of a new suite of metrics that will effectively address the Web 2.0 landscape by including enhanced measures of user engagement and advertising exposure. We will be introducing these new metrics to the industry in 2007."

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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