ComScore's new metric measures customer engagement

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ComScore Media Metrix debuted a new suite of metrics for measuring consumer activity at online properties, measuring visits that correspond to engagement.

The "visits metric" is defined as the number of times a unique visitor accesses content within a Web entity with breaks of at least 30 minutes between access . The metric measures how often a visitor views content.

The metrics are categorized by those that measure total visits, average minutes per visit, average visits per visitor, and average visits per usage day.

While each metric offers a different measure of frequency, the average-visits-per-visitor metric appears the most illustrative of return visits per unique individual during the course of a month. Used together with the unique-visitors metric, the combined measure can yield a more comprehensive view of a Web site's performance.

For example, Facebook.com -- the 36th most-visited site with 16.7 million unique visitors in February -- also proved to be one of the most engaging sites, ranking second with an average of 23.6 visits per visitor during the month. Microsoft's sites -- which ranked behind Time Warner Network and Google sites for visitors -- eclipsed both competitors by ranking third with 21.8 average visits per visitor.

In February, Yahoo's sites ranked as the top Web property for both unique visitors at 128.6 million and average visits per visitor at 28.6. Despite the relatively strong correlation between the rankings for the two Yahoo metrics, results for several other sites in the top 10 show significant differences between the two metrics, as illustrated below.

-- Weatherbug, the 48th most-visited property, was the fifth most engaging property as measured by average visits per visitor.

-- Comcast Corporation, the 33rd most-visited property, was the eighth most engaging property.

-- EA Online, the 60th most-visited property, was the ninth most engaging property.

-- Earthlink , the 66th most-visited property, was the 10th most engaging property.

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