The Cookie Conundrum
July 9, 2015 5:59 AM Subscribe
Writing at FiveThirtyEight.com, Sam Dean argues that until very recently, there has been no way to meaningfully measure web traffic. For advertisers and site owners, "just having a number that everyone can point to as an acceptable proxy of reality is more important than how accurate that number may be."
Advertisers dreamed of reaching “one to one,” a state of omniscience in which they could precisely target not only specific demographics but individual consumers with a particular ad. The Internet promised to make that dream come true. Twenty years later, we take it as a given that we’re living in that dream. We are tracked, through our phones and our laptops, by a long list of companies, and assume that they probably know everything we do.Of course, FiveThirtyEight has had troubles of its own with regard to measurements of web traffic since leaving The New York Times.
But the assumption has preceded the reality.
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