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Online traffic audits will make advertising decisions easier

by Brendan Maxwell on 25 Apr 2009
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The Internet has changed the face of specialist magazine publishing forever, around the world. As readers have voted with their mouses, moving online to grab their news now, not a month or two after an event, circulations have plummeted for many magazines, while online traffic numbers have grown exponentially.

So its not surprising that online media advertising have now sailed past magazine print media.

As King Canute demonstrated, no-one can stop the tide and magazine publishers have unsuccessfully fought the trend, the main defence has been to cast doubt about online audiences.

However what has happened over recent years is that very exact and accurate methods have been found to record all online activity, unlike the print media, where audited publications still make totally unverified claims about readership.

The leader in the online marine news sector in the Asia Pacific, TetraMedia, the publishers of Sail-World.com, Powerboat-World.com and MarineBusinessNews.com has been working for the last 12 years to ensure that its online traffic data is as accurate as possible. Right from day one we’ve wanted to know what kind of stories our audiences wanted to read, so we look all the time to see the trends.

TetraMedia senior programmer Daryl Krasu commented this week ‘we have been using the most rigorous website data metrics to cross check record our story readership, our daily and monthly page views and unique visitor numbers.

'We’ve worked hard to make sure our methods were exactly in line with the big US based internet rating companies.

'For audit purposes measurement tags placed at the bottom of all its site pages ensure only full downloaded pages are recorded.’

TetraMedia Publisher Rob Kothe explains 'In the month of March 2009, our unique visitor numbers across the TetraMedia marine group were 125,841. It’s a big number but remember there is a lot of news to attract the readers. We published a total of 937 stories in just 31 days, which were all picked up by Google and other search engines, so every day we attract lots of new readers.

'Now, there is good news for all online publishers as the Audit Bureaux of Australia (ABA) has negotiated a deal which means we will get independent traffic audits from Nielsen for around $7,200 per year (much smaller sites will pay as little as $1,000). The TetraMedia traffic will be audited from the first day the new Nelisen online audit scheme is launched -June 1st 2009. We anticipate being amongst the first sites to add tags to our pages in early May 2009

'This new data will allow marine advertisers to confirm that the online audience has outgrown the print audience and they will be able to carefully compare the offerings from the various publishers to ensure they are getting the best 'bang for their bucks'.'

Australia's online marketplace will benefit with the web traffic statistics being reported through the ABA’s new Web Audit Service. The service will verify the correct placement and number of tags per page by online publishers and ensure that the web measurement system is capturing web traffic data accurately and reporting in accordance to industry agreed standards.

The service is the outcome of industry-wide consultation and collaboration between the ABA, their media provider members, the MFA, AANA and IAB Australia and will be a step towards reaching media industry standards for the reporting of web traffic statistics, thus increasing advertiser and media buyer confidence.

ABA’s involvement will be multi-layered providing a wide range of services designed to deliver greater accountability and transparency to the online industry including:

Launch of the ABA Web Audit service from June 1 2009 (originally listed as May 1st 2009)
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