Web browsing behaviors are constantly changing. As a result, analysis of those behaviors must evolve to match those changes. A recent change that has become more prevalent over the past few months is tabbed browsing. The Firefox browser made tabbed browsing much more common, and now Microsoft has added it to Internet Explorer.

Tabbed browsing allows people to open more than one window within a browser and easily bounce back and forth.

Tabbed browsing has made comparing products, shopping for the right price, and researching products that much easier. For example, Chris is looking for a plasma television for his new home. He opens the browser and starts looking at ratings on Epinions. As he explores the ratings, he pops open links to pricing for a few different TVs in tabs. He decides to research a few different models on manufacturers' sites.

As he launches those pages in tabs, Chris is most likely triggering a page view and starting a visit for each site within its analytics tool. But he has yet to actually view those pages, since they opened behind the page he's viewing.

Chris may very well open 15-20 links in different tabs while doing his research. He bounces between the different tabs, clicking deeper into some sites, then bouncing back to other tabs. If he doesn't immediately see what he's looking for in a particular tab, he's even faster at closing it and moving on to the next. As he wraps up his research, he closes the browser (and all the tabs), possibly not even viewing some of them.

What does this mean for user behavior tracking and analytics?

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