by CIO Staff

New Rules for Counting Visitors

Dec 20, 20051 min

The biggest sites on the Web are collaborating on new rules for counting website visitors, according to

The Nomenclature Project, sponsored by Internet standards body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), is working on new rules for tallying traffic on websites. The biggest change proposed revolves around branding. Currently, websites can count traffic to affiliated sites as part of their overall numbers. For example, the top sports site,, reports about 15 million unique visitors a month. But included in that number are an estimated 1.2 million unique visitors from ESPN’s content partner, which displays a small logo from in the top right-hand corner of its pages.

The new rules from the Nomenclature Project would require that a brand constitute at least 75 percent of the brand attribution on a website in order to count it in traffic numbers. If adopted, the rules might shake up the ranks of top websites. But the top website owners are cooperating on the changes in hopes that overall Web advertising will grow as a result. The current lack of a clear methodology and standardization in counting Web traffic turns off some advertisers, according to the IAB.

–Edward Prewitt