Reported earlier in a ResearchBrief, a recent release by Jupiter Media Metrix shed some more details on their decision to exclude some pop-up (and pop-under) advertisements from its Web site rankings as part of an overhaul in the way it reports traffic figures. The move is a reversal for Jupiter, defending the practice of including pop-ups previously, saying it made its results more consistent. Nielsen/NetRatings, which acquired Jupiter in October, had excluded pop-up ad traffic from its rankings. Margaret Kane of CNET News summarized some of the details.
The use of pop-up ads to inflate traffic figures has had a significant effect on some sites. Jupiter says Vivendi-Universal, gets 54% of its online traffic from pop-up ads, Columbia House got 51% of its traffic from pop-ups, and Bizrate.com showed 37% of its traffic from pop-ups.
To handle pop-up ads, Jupiter has created a new category of sites called "promotional servers," which includes individual sites that get the majority of their traffic from pop-up and pop-under ads. Those sites will not be included in the company's overall ranking of Web properties unless they are part of a "roll-up" that would otherwise appear in the rankings.
In the general Web property rankings for November:
- AOL Time Warner had 83.8 million unique visitors
- Microsoft's MSN Network had 74.7 million visitors
- Yahoo, 71.9 million visitors
- Terra Lycos, 38.2 million
- X10 would have been in fifth place, using pop-up ads in a big way. With the new ranking protocol, it dropped out of the top 50.
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