A little ironic, eh?
Upworthy blogged about the unimportance of page clicks as a metric for advertisers this past Sunday. The post came after a recent pageview tank and, to no one’s surprise, had a typical Upworthy-like headline.
Of course, Upworthy is known for aggregating the most heartwarming stories on the web and packaging them under headlines that make your curious mind want to click, click, click.
Currently, “No WONDER We Think About Sex So Much,” “We Always Knew The Cable Company Was Evil. But These Plans Gimme The Heebie-Jeebies,” and “It’s Probably Your 2nd-Favorite Thing To Do, And Now Science Wants You To Do More Of It,” are just a few of the site’s headlines of this sort.
At least they know what they’re doing. Another reads, “If I Told You What This Is About, You Almost Definitely Would Not Click On It.”
So why the sudden change of heart? Allegedly, “clicks and pageviews, long the industry standards, are drastically ill-equipped for the job,” Upworthy swears. Traffic metrics are now all about “attention minutes,” or how long users view a page, they say. Pretty convenient for a site that prioritizes embedding lengthy YouTube videos over creating original content.
Upworthy has released a code that other publishers can begin cataloguing attention minutes, too. But the metric probably won’t work for all sites. Sites like BuzzFeed still receive a ton of traffic from social media, and would rather boast about those numbers with their advertisers.
After all, if a reader is engaged with a post for a long time but doesn’t share it with anyone, does it really matter how much time they spent staring at the screen?
(h/t Fast Company)