Wednesday, 13th November 2019
Computers & The Internet Article
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This Month's Magazine

The True Facts About Stats

We have all come across the websites that boast 50,000 hits a day, but how true is that?

Are you being fooled? 
We have all come across the websites that boast 50,000 hits a day, but how true is that?
What is the difference between Hits, Page Views and Sessions? Are these sites as good as they say they are or are they simply lying through their teeth?

Hits, Page Views and Sessions
One of the most asked question is 'What is the difference between Hits, Page Views and Sessions?' This can be best explained by way of an example.

If one person visits a webpage, that is classed as a Session. No matter how many pages he looks at within the website, it is still recorded as one Session. This is sometimes called a Unique Visitor, but in reality it should be a Unique IP Address because every computer on the internet is given a unique IP number, for example 64.78.52.86.

So far now this visitor has looked at the first page and in doing so he has been classed as 1 Page View. He then proceeds to look at a further 15 other pages creating a total of 16 Page Views. Page Views means every page viewed whether it is an .html, .asp, .php or even a .txt page.

On each page viewed there may be, say, 15 buttons and 5 photographs. So when our intrepid visitor looks at one page he will have created 21 hits. This is because all web page content that is viewed is classed as a hit. In this case it is one hit for the page itself, 15 hits for each of the buttons, and 5 hits for the photographs.

So this one visitor, having viewed only 6 pages of this website, has created the following stats:

  • 1 Session
  • 16 Page Views
  • 336 Hits

If this is applied to the 50,000 hits per day mentioned earlier, it evaluates down to less than 150 visitors per day. Not quite as awesome as before!


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Page Counters
We have all seen them in one guise or another. A group of numbers in plain text or spinning graphics like a speedometer. The question being, are they a true representation of how many people have visited that site? The answer is a resounding NO. They can be manipulated so easily to display or increase whatever the website owner wishes. So all in all, they are a complete waste of time.
 
What about Alexa.com?
Alexa.com is a small toolbar which stays on the screen of a user whilst they are traversing the Internet. It is constantly collecting data about which websites they are visiting, how long they stay on a certain website, and what type of websites they visit. Even though all the data is collected and displayed on their website, giving you a general idea of the visitors and ranking of a website, it is only true of the people who use the Alexa.com toolbar. 
 
The stats displayed in the graph which people use on their websites are not the hits or visitors it is only the ranking within Alexa.com users. Therefore the information is totally irrelevant as far as stats on the Internet are concerned for such sites as may be listed on Alexa.com

Final Words
In the end, you cannot believe all that you see. All of the numbers and stats you can view can be altered in one way or another. The best method is to judge for yourself as to whether the website is telling the truth or simply pulling the wool over your eyes.



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