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Traffic Signals

New guidelines could give a clearer measure of web traffic.

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This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Hits, server logs, impressions, page views--a marketer can certainly get confused by all the web-traffic measurement lingo. In 2002, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an association dedicated to helping various media companies increase their revenue, introduced its first measurement guidelines. But what's happened since then?

Quite a bit, says IAB president and CEO Greg Stuart. Stuart points to the Global Ad Campaign Measurement and Audit Guidelines developed by the organization's Measurement Task Force, released last November, as a key milestone in a 5- to 7-year plan to develop consistent, worldwide web-traffic measurement mechanisms. "First, we needed to create guidelines for impressions," says Stuart. "Then, we needed to address clicks. The third step is to define measurement of uniques. The industry hasn't really set out to tackle uniques yet."

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