Wednesday Buzz: The History and the Future of Web Metrics
Many of your questions about why web metrics are the way they are, answered. Plus: An event-planning group rises from the ashes.
Ever wonder about the wide world of web metrics that you and your association’s advertising partners use to gauge your site’s performance? Having trouble differentiating between comScore and Quantcast? Then it’s time to explore FiveThirtyEight contributor Sam Dean‘s extensive report on the state of web-traffic measurement.
Basically, web metrics, with their varied methodologies and results, have a long, storied history of confusing site admins, audiences, and advertisers. As it stands, there’s no perfect way to measure online audiences, and that status quo won’t be changing anytime soon.
“So, unless you have a serious paywall, and therefore have users who are logged in 100 percent of the time (like the Financial Times), there is just no way to know for sure how many individual real-live people visit your site in a month, week or day,” Dean writes, adding the caveat that you will still have to worry about whether your traffic is even made up of people to begin with.
“A study published this year by a Web security company found that bots make up 56 percent of all traffic for larger websites, and up to 80 percent of all traffic for the mom-and-pop blogs out there,” Dean adds, giving association webmasters yet another thing to worry about.
Click here to read Dean’s entire story, and see what organizations are trying to do to improve the state of web metrics.
Resurrection of the Day
When popular technology site Gigaom shut down earlier this year, it left behind a burgeoning event-management business. Now, former members of the Gigaom team are using their event expertise to launch a new company, Structure, which will host its first event this November. For more info on Structure, check out the debut announcement.
Other Good Reads
When you’re done with the history of web metrics, check out How Email Become the Most Reviled Communication Experience Ever, by Fast Co. Design contributor John Pavlus.
“Everyone knows that storytelling is a win for nonprofits,” Caryn Stein, Network for Good’s vice president of communications and content, writes. But is your organization telling stories worth hearing? Check out her tips for better stories here.