Yahoo Scientists: “Dwell Time” Is A Better Metric Than Click-Through Rate

Yahoo Scientists: “Dwell Time” Is A Better Metric Than Click-Through Rate

Joining the drumbeat against clicks as a flawed metric for user engagement and interest, Yahoo Labs scientists have published a paper that finds time spent on content items — dwell time — is a better indicator of what people enjoy online.

It’s essentially the same argument long made by Chartbeat, the real-time analytics firm that last week announced that “attention minutes” had been accredited by a national metric standards board. Namely, that clicks to a page don’t mean as much as time spent there because people can be fooled by click-bait headlines or just accidentally click to a page before immediately leaving.

Yahoo’s research, which analyzed interaction data on the Yahoo home page, was supportive of that theory, finding that dwell time is “a proxy to user satisfaction for recommended content, and complements or even replaces click-based signals.” Read more…

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