The problem with being sticky
In what has to be a jaw-dropping victory, comScore reports that the most popular network of sites last month in terms of page views wasn't Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO). News Corp.'s (NYSE:NWS) Fox Interactive took the top spot. Well done, Rupert Murdoch!

But not so fast here. If we go by unique visitors, Yahoo! is still on top. By that metric, Fox is a surprisingly distant sixth-place finisher. It's still a compliment -- fewer people are just more addicted to Fox. However, there's a problem with the person who spends two hours clicking through hundreds of MySpace pages before shutting down the computer for the night.

Unfortunately, the idea that sticky sites rule, and that we value companies based on how long visitors stick around, is so 1990s. Now that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Yahoo! have popularized paid search, some of the leading online destinations like having you around, but would really love to send you somewhere else.

That's the nature of click-based ads in the realm of contextual marketing. Sure, there are still ads being sold based on the number of impressions, but the real fat margins are in Google's system, where a single click out of a site can result in dimes, quarters, and possibly even a few bucks if the lead is desirable enough.

That is why I enjoy seeing stickiness metrics that position Google as inferior, given its fleeting grasp on its visitors. Yahoo! wants you to go through your email and snapshots on Flickr, and MySpace wants you to shield your eyes as you surf through some pretty tacky user pages. There is money there, of course, but Google is like the parent of an 18-year-old, trying to nudge the now-adult child out the door toward independence, so that the parents can enjoy a little freedom, too.

Well done, Fox. You've shown that you can get folks to crash your party and hang out until closing time. Now let's see what you can do to have them moving on to something else a little quicker.

This is why the folks at Best Buy wear blue
Can it be? Is Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) finally mortal? The stock took a hit after posting disappointing earnings this past week, but let's color that in a little bit. Sales and comps were up nicely. The culprit was a margin squeeze that left the consumer electronics superstore chain gasping on the way to the bottom line.

The rub? The company had been doing so well until now. What's the problem? Is it that folks can now buy flat-panel television sets and iPods just about anywhere these days? That may be so, but it's not the real issue. After all, we did have those buoyant comps. Maybe Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is to blame with its war on high prices. Last month, Wal-Mart instituted steep rollbacks in consumer electronics. That certainly didn't help comps at Wal-Mart, but maybe the perception of a price war has kept Best Buy running on leaner markups.

No matter what, Best Buy's blah quarter now makes this holiday season a huge gauge to determine whether the company's bottom-line slip was a one-time deal or not.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Best Buy and Yahoo! are Stock Advisor selections. Wal-Mart is an Inside Value recommendation. Follow the preceding links to try either newsletter service free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He doesn't own shares of the stocks in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.