Jupiter Media Metrix, the online research and monitoring specialist, has launched a new product that claims to enable website owners to track activity deep within a site without the current lengthy trawl through log files.

Says JMM senior vp Seth Segel: “We're measuring what a user sees in the browser, not what a server sends out.” The service is accessible via a “400-byte, standard piece of HTML”, Segel explains, which measures user activity in far greater depth than standard tracking procedures.

For example, the new HTML code can track accessing of cached pages, essentially copies of other websites visited by users – a borderline privacy issue that until now been regarded as questionable. But ethics are nothing if not fluid, as Scott Moore, publisher of Microsoft’s e-zine Slate, observes: “I think the market has been sort of educated to that.”

Although Microsoft has yet to decide whether to use Jupiter’s latest product, Moore feels there is enough elbow-room in the marketplace to accommodate two different methods of site measurement – a view with which Jupiter’s Segel happily agrees. “The two services are complementary because they are measuring two different things,” Segel insists.

And as Moore points out, even within an individual company the use of both types of research could help iron-out discrepancies in measurement. For example, panel measurement – some 100,000 people across the whole of the web – can often undercount alongside individual site data.

Jupiter was unwilling to reveal which clients have already taken up the new service.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline