Page views versus time spent — the Web marketing conundrum

For a while now, new media marketers have been vexing over various models of calculating their Web marketing ROI. 

Is time spent more meaningful a measure than page views?  But let’s say John Doe spends 3 minutes on a given Webpage, how do we know how many minutes (or more likely, seconds), he has spent on, say, a banner ad at the top, a video ad embedded onto the page, ads on the side bars, etc?  Or if he only focused on the article/text he was reading and managed to ignore the blinking ads?

 KD Paine has a take on this issue that is well worth considering.  Check it out.For all its limitations (which is closely tied to the nascence of the medium), my view is that ROI for online marketing is still more trackable than say, an ad placed on the newspaper.  We don’t even know if anyone encountered the newspaper ad, and often, all that we can rely on is what the ad sales person assures us is the circulation, readership profile, etc of the paper in question.

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