NetRatings Thinks Small with SiteCensus

Nielsen//NetRatings’ quest to be the one-one-stop for Internet audience measurement took a small step forward Monday with the launch of SiteCensus, a service that promises research analysis for sites with smaller audience sizes.

The Milpitas, Calif.-based NetRatings said the census-based service would target media companies and content publishers by offering in-depth measurements of key metrics, including visitors, page views, time spent and site demographics for sites within a network.

The company is adding SiteCensus to complement its NetView Random Digit Dial measurement service, which targets larger size Web sites. In addition to reporting on user activity, NetRatings said SiteCensus would hawk research data on a site’s total network circulation and collect data for content area audiences — within a site or network of sites.

Using a census-based page-tagging system, the new service has been set up to be encoded into a Web site page to provide an “accurate and direct count” of every page view and visitor, while also selecting and surveying a representative sample of the audience.

Once the data is collected, the plan is to deliver research data like regional and local market tracking and information on usage based on gender, age and client specified custom demographics.

Content producers can also turn to SiteCensus to justify ad rates by showing prospects how client Web sites reach specific demographics, NetRatings said. SiteCensus is currently available in the U.S., with service planned for key international markets.

The company, which makes the bulk of its revenue from collecting information on online advertising effectiveness, customer loyalty, and bandwidth and streaming media use, said SiteCensus was capable of tracking a site’s entire audience, including traffic from wireless and hand-held devices, Internet appliances, shared home and office computers, university PCs and even public terminals at libraries and Internet cafes.

It is yet another product for NetRatings to offer to its 600 clients — most among Web advertisers, e-commerce firms and Internet publishers — alongside its offline Nielsen Media Research unit.

The launch of SiteCensus comes just weeks after NetRatings debuted a syndicated Hispanic Web measurement service.

The Hispanic measurement panel consists of 3,600 self-identified Hispanic Internet users selected through random digit dialing (RDD). NetRatings will measure all manner of online activity for the minority group to provide a snapshot of the online habits of the 37 million Hispanics in the United States. The panel will also be folded into the Nielsen//NetRatings’ U.S. Internet panel.

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