Page views are going the way of “hits” if new trends on web traffic measurements are any indication. WSJ.com recently reported that Nielsen is switching to “time spent at websites” (a metric that always had a place but never quoted as much as page views) as a more reliable yardstick of web stickiness. Why exactly are pageviews not popular anymore? Online video and Ajax make it possible for users to be engaged long enough without pulling pages from a site.
In reality, page views are largely used by ad networks and websites to market their site inventory. E-commerce sites have continually grappled with the challenge of converting traffic into sales. Hotels for example are constantly redesigning their sites and refreshing content to attract new customers and keep their current ones. While time spent is an indicator of interest and attention, does it always lead to a sale? The web has made most companies more ROI oriented than ever before and business models are increasingly focussed on revenues out of every random visitor! No one wants curiosity clicks! In such circumstances, the only metric that will survive is one that has a direct correlation with sales!