NetRatings Debuts SiteCensus Measurement Service

To enhance the company's already extensive suite of offerings, VNU-owned NetRatings yesterday launched a census-based site measurement service that offers third-party Web circulation figures.

SiteCensus provides media companies, online publishers and other Internet companies with regional and local visitor counts, page views, time spent and demographics, as well as other client- specified metrics, via page-tagging system. The "clear pixel" or 1x1 pixel tag is encoded into any subscribing website to report back to NetRatings every page view and visitor.

NetRatings SVP of business development Jed Meyer says page view and visitor counts will be drawn directly from a census count of actual visitors, which offers advertisers a possible solution to the long-time quest for third-party metrics that include both panel and log file data.

Rather than publishers' own website counts, advertisers tend to trust third-party data more, says Meyer, adding that the service will be especially useful to smaller online publishers, such as online newspapers, which will be able to gauge their website performance on a local level, as well as the Hispanic marketplace and publishers interested in measuring the international traffic to their sites.

SiteCensus will also track website traffic from wireless and hand-held devices, Internet appliances, shared home and office computers, university PCs and other terminals.

Currently, NetRatings is marketing SiteCensus to individual sites and media companies who are interested in encoding their sites to get the data. Meyer says NetRatings will be providing a syndicated report showcasing trends for the rest of the industry in about 6 months.

SiteCensus is currently available in the U.S., with service planned for key international markets.

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