At a session called Learn Google Analytics the other night, I learned that Google Analytics’ Time on Site measurement does NOT include the last page viewed.
On one hand this makes sense because Google measures time on each web page by logging the time you arrive at each page. (In simple math, you arrive at the first page at 10:00 a.m. You arrive at the second at 10:01 a.m. You spent 1 minute on the first page.) If you close the browser or browse to another website, there is no additional information for Google to record, and so the time spent on the last page you visited cannot be accurately calculated because there is no “end” value for that page.
From a technical standpoint this makes sense. BUT…When I think about people’s habits, I get concerned. For example, when I go looking for information, once I find it, I leave the website. I have no reason to view additional pages. I may have spent 5 minutes on the web page, scrolling up and down, reading and re-reading, maybe even printing out the page. I found my “nugget”. The information on this web page has great value to me (and how many others?) and that information is apparently invisible to the web owners who are unaware of the “real” value of the web page.
What are your thoughts? Is this a big deal for you?