ComScore adds new Web measurement tool

Its new tool will analyze heavy, medium and light Internet users

Following on the heels of rival Nielsen/NetRatings, which moved away from using page views as its primary metric this month, ComScore Inc. today announced a new tool to segment Internet users by their overall time on the Web.

The Internet measurement company now will offer a new tool called ComScore Segment Metrix H/M/L, which will measure and analyze online activity for heavy, medium and light Internet users in various categories, ComScore said.

The goal is to tell Web site operators whether they are getting visits from heavy Internet users, who visit a higher number of sites and view a disproportionate amount of pages compared with medium and light users. For example, ComScore noted that in May, heavy Internet users visited an average of 176 Web sites, where they spent an average of 96 hours and viewed 8,468 pages. Those in the light-use category viewed an average of 14 sites and spent three hours looking at 330 pages.

The new metric also will provide advertisers better insight into how to reach important targeted groups of users, the company added.

ComScore will define the heavy group as the top 20% of consumers based on time spent online in a category of sites, ComScore said. The medium group will be defined as the middle 30%, and the light users will represent the remaining 50% of users across 110 site categories and subcategories.

The new metric also will allow advertisers to better identify who makes up the different categories, according to ComScore. For example, while it may seem intuitive to think that heavy users of travel sites are road warriors, a study of the large non-travel sites visited by those in the heavy travel category shows these users are also frequent visitors to FedEx, UPS and U.S. Postal Service Web sites.

This means that users in that segment are more likely to be administrative assistants than frequent business travelers themselves, ComScore noted.

With ComScore Segment Metrix H/M/L, advertisers can define consumers behaviorally and then identify where to find them across the Web -- making media and promotion plans more targeted, more efficient and more effective, said Bob Ivins, ComScore's executive vice president, in a statement.

ComScore said it plans to announce additional segmentation approaches in the future.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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