Pageviews are Obsolete

As web applications become more desktop-like, URLs become less significant. Ajax does away with a lot of page refreshes as it becomes increasingly easy for state to change without requesting new documents. The “what about the Back button?” question has been well-explored in the Ajax community. Less-discussed is the fact that the same phenomenon wreaks havoc on traditional analysis of web traffic. Throw in the fact that access logs are already heavily skewed / made less meaningful by heavy RSS consumption, and the value of traditional, URL-based traffic analysis is decreasing.

Jeremy Zawodny: “How the hell do we count stuff in a zero page refresh Web 2.0 buzzword compliant world?”

evhead, in Pageviews are Obsolete:

There will come a time when no one who wants to be taken seriously will talk about their web traffic in terms of “pageviews” any more than one would brag about their “hits” today.

Music: The Mountain Goats :: Moon Over Goldsboro

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2 Replies to “Pageviews are Obsolete”

  1. What was that social calendar webapp that got auctioned on eBay a while back? I remember in their pitch they had a graph of their traffic with a big note saying “This is Web 2.0. Every visitor only loads one page, so our uniques and pageviews are the same.” It was a pretty awkward graph to look at!

    Developers will probably have to start logging page/method accesses internally, or write a quick hook into Apache mod_log to let it know that something was done. Another Rails mixin to add to my todo list :)

  2. Yeah, I’m imagining that in the present/future, we’ll be more interested in requests to specific modules or scripts than on page URLs.

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