I was chatting with a website owner via Blackberry Messenger a few days ago about promoting a blog and getting more traffic to a blog. He mentioned that he gets a lot of traffic but still has his Alexa traffic rank in the millions. At this point, I asked him how he knew he was getting so much traffic, hat stats provider he was using. He told me he was using Awstats on his server and he gets like 6,000 hits everyday but his Alexa traffic rank is not increasing. That’s when I got to know where he was coming from.
Website hits is not the same as visits or page views on your site. The difference is huge and if you don’t get it right, your hits stats will push you into thinking that you have great traffic. Don’t get them confused.
Difference between Hits and Visits
Visits to your website are recorded when an internet user from a link source or search engine gets to your website and you site loads in his internet browser. Can you get that? It simply means when someone opens your webpage in a recognized browser, a visit is recorded. This sometimes can also be misleading if the stats provider you are using counts visits by search engines and other bots. Google Analytics is a great tool to make use of. I found out that Google Analytics has it’s own downside too. It loads the analytics script in the footer of the page, so if the visitor does not wait for the page to load completely before stopping it, a visits might not be recorded. That in my own view is better than having exaggerated stats.
Hits on the other hand is counted based on the number of file requests sent to your site’s server. A single web page is made up of different components as files.
For example, to load this page you are reading, the logo image will load, the header scripts, the css, the footer scripts and so on will all have to be loaded. This means that if you open a page like this, you can get an average 10 different requests per page. That’s 10 hits to your page created by a single visit.
If you have several sites linking to files on your site, whenever those files are used on their sites, a request is sent to your server and a hit is recorded.
A very good example is when you have an mp3 file on your website and I decided to link to it on my website. Whenever someone on my site tries to download the file on my site using the link, one hit is recorded on your site. Was there a visit to your site? No, but there was a hit.
Hits are different from visits and should never be used as an estimate of the visits you might be getting. There is so much difference in the values you can get. In fact you can get hits without an actual visit to your website.
Now you get the difference? Don’t make such mistakes anymore!
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