Archive for February, 2008

What's more important, eyeball count or eyeball hours?

Just some random thoughts while reading the news over lunch.

Nielsen Rating apparently released their numbers for websites for January 2008. According to the numbers reported at http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/venture/archives/131937.asp, Google got the most eyeballs in January. What I find interesting is that the numbers for time spent on the web site implies a different ranking. I whipped out Excel for some simple analysis. The results? The top 4 companies in terms of eyeball hours are in the exact wrong order. Companies are presented in order of unique audience #s, measured in thousands (000). I added the ‘Person Hours/1000 people’ and ‘Rank on Person Hours’ columns.

Parent Unique Audience (000) Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss) Person Hours/1000 people Rank on Person Hours
Google 124279 1:37:35 202125:59:05 4
Microsoft 121920 2:22:33 289661:36:00 3
Yahoo! 113874 3:19:43 379042:15:42 2
Time Warner 104837 3:57:38 415212:45:46 1
News Corp. Online 75381 2:02:49 154300:43:09 5
eBay 65758 2:04:37 136575:42:46 6
InterActiveCorp 65691 0:24:37 26951:33:27 8
Amazon 59833 0:27:47 27706:00:11 7
Wikimedia Foundation 56049 0:18:32 17312:54:48 9
New York Times Company 51624 0:20:26 17580:50:24 10

In terms of getting people on their way, this chart looks pretty good since Google is very efficient in getting people off the site. Microsoft probably sees a lot of traffic from developers spending LOTS of time on the site (on vacation I can spend 20 hours a week or more with a Microsoft site open in some browser!). The top two in terms of person hours, Time Warner and Yahoo!, own those spots by WIDE margins. A bigger question is which of these is more valuable? If I spend little time on a site, then advertising based on things easily ordered over the internet would be very valuable. If my users spent lots of time on the site, then I’d go after advertisers that sell things that are best delivered/consumed in person. Food and drink, footwear, vehicles, homes, and things that are expensive to ship would probably be good items to advertise.

With numbers like this, Microsoft’s lust for Yahoo! makes some sense. I can also see why News Corp would want to form an alliance. Together, they would own the eyeball hours numbers by a wide margin: a combined 533 million hours to Time Warner’s 415 million hours. Is it true that that advertising for brands like Coke, Nike, and Cadillac is more effective when seen in the periphery, getting into one’s decision making process? For example, while sitting at work, I won’t suddenly go buy a new TV. I will get out of my seat and make a choice between water, coffee, or Diet Mountain Dew several times a day. I will make this purchase in a way that can’t directly be tracked by clickthroughs.

Is this why Yahoo! is worth so much? Are they really the #2 Internet destination, but no one has mentioned it yet?

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Fake Steve Ballmer is Priceless Today

Usually, FSB is entertaining. Today, the guy running the FSB blog is hilarious. The post isn’t much until the last line. I won’t spoil this for you but, if you have 30 seconds, go here now and read. Hilarious!

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