Death of the Page View

As sites are increasingly built with Ajax and Flash, page views stop making sense as a metric. When all of the navigation occurs within a single URL, the use of page views severely undercounts traffic.

"Ajax shatters the metaphor of a web 'page' upon which much of web publishing and advertising is based," [says TechWeb's Fredric Paul]...Ajax reduces the need for an entire webpage to reload to show fresh data: "It questions the assumptions of why do I have to do a page refresh to do anything," according to Adaptive Path's Lane Becker.

"If sites track traffic and sell ads based on pageview impressions, everything changes when users start interacting with the site and making multiple changes without ever refreshing a page. Does all of that count as a single page view? Or do we need to count clicks, or use a stopwatch to time how long they spend on each 'page'?" Paul writes.

Same problem with RSS, but worse: Half of the time I don't even go to the site I'm reading.

And, as Steve Rubel points out, there's a big community of advertising agencies and content creators with a vested interest in the page view measure.

I see trouble on the way.