comScore Announces New “Visits” Metric For Measuring User Engagement

comScore just released new metrics for measuring user engagement. I think this is awesome. For years, engagement has been a hard thing to determine. Many sites have used strategies to inflate traffic numbers by “buying” traffic from ad networks and affiliate programs, but the quality of the traffic was very low. Those users arrived at the site and then immediately left, but still counted as a visit. Also, with technologies like AJAX, the “visit” and the “page view” don’t tell enough of the story.

The changes has produced some interesting results. Yahoo’s Network remained on top with the most unique visitors and also came out on top of the new metric, average visits per visitor. But other than that – there were a lot of interesting differences to note.

From the press release:, the 36th most-visited site with 16.7 million unique visitors in February, proved to be one of the most engaging sites, ranking second with 23.6 average visits per visitor during the month.

Microsoft Sites, which ranked behind Time Warner Network and Google Sites in terms of visitors, eclipsed both competitors by ranking third with 21.8 average visits per visitor.

Weatherbug, the 48th most-visited property, was the fifth-most engaging property (as measured by average visits per visitor); Comcast Corporation, the 33rd most-visited property, was the eighth most-engaging property; EA Online, the 60th most-visited property, was the ninth most-engaging property; and Earthlink, the 66th most visited property, was the tenth most-engaging property.

An engaged audience is a more valuable audience. It also shows that the site provides a true value to it’s users.

Read the full press release>>

2 Responses to comScore Announces New “Visits” Metric For Measuring User Engagement

  1. I wonder if objective has any place in the “rules of engagement”.

    For example, Microsoft visitor engagement might be interpreted differently as people use their products and go to their site for product support purposes. In addition, a vast amount of their product documentation is now handled online, which might bump up the engagement number. In other words, people may NEED to go to

    Although I only have a passing familiarity with, my initial reaction is that engagement for this particular site may be based on WANT, which in my opinion is a more valuable number.

    In other words, how many of these people WANTED to be here as opposed to NEEDED to be here? And is that question even important?

  2. Laura says:

    Hi Russ,

    The move toward this new metric is due to the increase in technologies like AJAX which are decreasing the accuracy of the page view metric. The average visits per user metric will now tell us a bit more about how often visitors engage with the site. It does not really provide metrics for “needing” or “wanting” to be on the site – a difference which may or may not be useful to advertisers.

    It’s a step in a good direction, that tells a bit more of the story, but it does not solve all the challenges inherent in determining which sites provide the highest quality audience.


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