Tthere seems to be a tacit agreement in the industry on clickthrough conversions. The conventional wisdom is that as long as a conversion happens after a click, that conversion should be credited back to ad exposure. A pertinent but almost never asked question is whether such glorious treatment of clickthrough conversion is really justified.
Over the last two weeks, my fellow Metrics Insider columnists have correctly pointed out that online metrics are neither standardized nor easily integrated across systems. Vocabulary is muddled. Numbers do not match. Data exists in silos and is isolated from related data. Systems do not adequately or easily talk to each other. Research services, ad servers, and Web analytics tools report similarly named, overlapping and often conflicting metrics. Unfortunately, these problems will not disappear anytime soon, even with emerging "standards" and continued attention paid by the industry to these important issues.
Last week, Josh Chasin wrote about the state of online media metrics with considerable vexation. I share his frustration.
The Internet, we have been told for a decade, is the most measurable medium. Hence it is not without vexation that the Internet business community observes the current state of online metrics. Because unlike a traditional medium such as network TV, where a single metric system has held uncontested sway for over 50 years, the Internet community is "blessed" with an embarrassment of measurement riches....