ABCThe Audit Bureau of Circulation Electronic (ABCe) has completed its first audit of an online publisher's RSS feeds as part of a test to establish new metrics for measuring the popularity of websites. has become the first UK publisher to be awarded an ABCe certificate containing a validated RSS metric.

The audit, conducted on the ABCe's behalf by MediaFed, measured the unique users who clicked through to stories at and the total number of clicks-through from RSS sources for each day in January.

Stephen Brooks, publisher of, said: "The audited figures prove that our RSS feeds are generating a significant and increasing amount of traffic to our site and analysing their performance is a must.

“We're very pleased to be the first publisher to commit to ABCe auditing of RSS feeds, providing our advertisers and stakeholders with yet another assurance of the audiences we can reach."

The RSS measurement comes after JICWEBS, the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards, issued guidelines for measuring additional elements of websites beyond page views and site-wide unique users.

The ABCe audit revealed that on average 66 unique users accessed stories at each day via RSS - totalling 1472 over the month - creating an average of 1091 page impressions a day, 33,808 in total.

Overall the site registered an average of 3,193 unique users a day - a total of 77,856 over the course for the month - coming to the site through various means.

To guarantee accurate figures the ABCe measurement only considers RSS numbers generated from aggregators accepting cookies, such as web browser Internet Explorer 7, that register an individual's use of a site's RSS feed.

RSS readers, like Newsgator and Bloglines, are not included in the figure as an automated process accesses RSS feeds on behalf any number of users and are more difficult to quantify.

Ian Morris, from MediaFed, said: "Defining it by anything that uses cookies allows for browser based readers rather than online aggregators. Although that is cutting out a swathe of traffic it levels the playing field for everyone that is measured this way and makes it as comparative as any other ABC metric."

ABCe has also defined standards for measuring podcasts and downloads. It is expected that these new metrics will be applied to an ABCe accredited online publisher in the coming months.

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