According to a new report from comScore, about 31 percent of U.S. Internet users cleared their cookies during the month. This figure, if correct, could lead to site visitor counts to be off by as much as 150%.
While comScore probably can’t be considered an unbiased source – they offer a browser-based approach to tracking user behavior – it’s clear that random cookies are becoming less and less useful as a tool for identifying unique users.
“There is a common perception that third-party cookie deletion rates should be significantly higher than first-party cookie deletion rates,” said comScore CEO Dr. Magid Abraham. These findings suggest that selective cookie management is not prevalent, a fact that comScore confirmed via a survey, with only 4 percent of Internet users indicating that they delete third-party but not first-party cookies.”
Some will use comScore’s numbers as a reason to slam Web analytics, or as justification for arguring that Web ad prices are inflated. comScore’s numbers aren’t entirely surprising, though, and serve as a reminder to make sure you’re measuring the right things. An example of this is Google’s AdSense, which tracks views, but charges you based on click-through actions.
Earlier in the year, I wrote that 2006 Will Be a Tipping Point for Online Media, and gave 10 reasons why.
In case that didn’t convince you, check out this graph of the unprecedented rise of YouTube:
This Alexa graph charts the reach of YouTube vs MySpace. YouTube has gone from nowhere to being one of the top sites on the Internet, and there’s no sign of its growth slowing anytime soon. Meanwhile, MySpace, the poster child for social networking sites, appears to have reached a plateau.
Expect a rush of video portal announcements, as companies decide that it’s time for the Internet video strategy.
The Lewin Group’s Elisabeth McLaury Lewin recently talked with the Denver Post’s Steven Rosen about the trend among art museums – and fans of fine art – to produce art podcasts, or artcasts:
“It’s neat to see museums – even low-budget museums – do high-tech things,” said Elisabeth McLaury Lewin, publisher of PodcastingNews.com. “And it may drive new participation in the fine arts as the traditional audience is aging and dying.”
“It seems in the near future people will have an opportunity to interact with a podcast, just like people can interact with blogs,” said Lewin, of PodcastingNews.com. “And podcasters don’t necessarily have to bow to a curator’s view. They can be irreverent.”
The article appeared in the July, 4, 2006 Denver Post.