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Difficulties and the lack of a general system makes the process of counting the number of visits difficult
According to an interesting article in The New York Times this week, more and more companies with websites are feeling frustrated with the various ways of counting the number of visitors they receive, something that, on the other hand, is essential at the moment. to hire advertising and generate income.
How many people visited Style.com, the home of Vogue and W magazines, last month? 421,000, 497,000 or 1.8 million? The answer, which could be any or none of the above, is critical for Condé Nast, which owns the site, and for companies that pay to advertise on it, such as Ralph Lauren.
The problem is that Condé Nast's internal account (1.8 million) is considerably higher than ComScore (421,000) or Nielsen / NetRatings (497,000), whose figures are used to determine advertising rates, and these Discrepancies have led to a series of frictions.
Other media companies, such as Time Warner, The Financial Times, and The New York Times, are equally frustrated, as their visitor numbers are also often higher than those of tracking companies.
There are many reasons for these differences (for example, how people using the Internet at home and in the office are counted), but the result is the same: the growth of online advertising is slowing down, because no one is able to accurately count visits.
Online advertising is expected to generate revenues of more than $ 20 billion this year, more than double the $ 9.6 billion it represented in 2004. This is why the number of visits has become a central issue in any business. strategy of making a website profitable. The problem is how to count them and that is that there is still no universally accepted agreement on measurement criteria or accounting methods.
In the United States, two agencies that buy huge amounts of ads (Starcom MediaVest Group and MindShare) recently threatened major Web sites with reducing their investment of money if the discrepancies that exist in the time of accounting their traffic were not resolved. Advertisers are concerned not only with how many people visit their sites, but also with how often their ads appear.
Given the growth and expectations of Internet advertising, it is foreseeable that in the near future the protagonists in the United States will decide to sit down to agree on a common system to measure the traffic received by their portals and websites.