Few Things You Didn't Know About 'Hits'
If you are new to Internet
advertising let me take a moment to clarify the
difference between 'hits', 'page views', and 'unique
You've no doubt visited sites that claim they
receive a million hits each week, or something
to that effect, and you may have caught yourself
thinking "wow!, if 'hits' = visitors a lot
of people pass this way" Well, it doesn't.
and they don't!
A 'hit' means that the web browser has fulfilled
a request and loaded a 'unique' piece of information,
it could be an image or a web page. As an example,
let's say you have a page (like our home page)
that has 3 photos (jpegs)... 16 cute red buttons
pointing the way to various articles... a control
panel with 11 more blue buttons and bars ...
some text... a logo (gif)... some fancy text
(gif)... a banner advertisement. Whoa! Did you
know that in order to load this information,
the visitor's browser will have to make over
40 'hits'! So, in this example one visitor, looking
at only one page has resulted in 40+ hits on
the counter! Basically, the number of 'hits' a site receives is just that... a number! Imagine
how many 'hits' you'd get if the visitor went
to every page on your site!
What about 'page views'? Well, 'page views'
are far more informative. Every time a visitors
requests to see a fresh page on your web site,
it counts it as '1 page view'. A person could
visit just one page on your site and then leave
- resulting in only 1 page view, or they could
go through and read every single page - resulting
in multiple 'page views'. Obviously the more
page views per visitor, the better!
Finally, there are 'unique
visitors' or logged
'IP addresses'. This is what most good web sites
count to track their visitors, but it's not perfect
and I'll explain why. Each time someone connects
to the web, they receive a different 'IP
Think of it as a 'connection code' issued by
your Internet Service Provider's (or ISP). Unfortunately,
ISP's are assigned only a limited number of IP
addresses. So when someone connects online, the
ISP assigns them a code. When the same someone
disconnects, that code becomes available to be
assigned to the next person connecting online.
For example, when John connects online, he is
automatically given an IP address. John surfs
for about 30 minutes and then disconnects. The
IP address that John had is now available for
reassignment. So now, when Mary connects online,
she is given John's old IP address. Five minutes
later, John decides to connect online again.
He is given a totally new IP address. So John
could dial-in three different times and receive
three different IP addresses. Each time he comes
back to your site, he looks like a different
visitor. To confuse things even more, if by some
magical coincidence Mary just happens to visit
your site that same day, you'll think she is
There is no perfect way to track unique visitors!
With that said, IPs are most commonly used because
they are the most accurate and until there is
a perfect method of identifying unique visitors,
we'll just have to take the visitor numbers at
face value ... unique IP address = unique visitor.