Why advertisers shouldn’t care about pageviews

Advertisers love of pageviews has caused Web publishers to find ways to artificially inflate pageview counts.

Slideshows have become ground zero for this game. This has led to the proliferation of fluff slideshows of photos and of top 10 lists. Many of those slideshows are enjoyable, but not typically hard hitting journalism.

MG Siegler discusses how Business Insider has taken this practice to another level by turning actual articles into slideshows:

3 slides (of 12) in, I have no clue who wrote this. And the whole thing lacks the flow of great writing. It’s a bunch of mini-blurbs instead of one cohesive article making a strong case.

Both the reader and the writer lose as a result of this nonsense. But Business Insider wins, I suppose.

Why does Business Insider win? Pageviews. But this is such a user-hostile way of showing content. A real slideshow complete with good photos and text that tell a story is good for users. An article hacked up into tiny blurbs is not good for users.

Time spent and other engagement metrics are much more accurate than pageviews. Pageviews are so easy to game. Why should a site be rewarded for making you read an article over 12 pages instead of on one?

Hat tip Daring Fireball.