Posted on | December 23, 2011 | No Comments
Whether you are writing a blog like this one, or run a major e-commerce website, it’s natural to want to know how many people visit.
There are lots of tools—generally known as web analytics—to measure web site traffic. The problem is, “People don’t visit websites. Their computers do.” But you cannot identify how many people are hiding behind a single computer. Every person in the Ford Corporation has the same IP (Internet Protocol) address. And most home users are given a different IP address every time they get on the web. So it could look like you are getting more “visits” from a single home user than from a dozen Ford employees. And, as in the photo above, you don’t know how many people are looking at the same computer screen.
Measuring website visits depends on the definition of a “visit.” The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards says a single visit is a series of page requests with no gaps greater than 30 minutes. So if you click on the link for a page 31 minutes after you first landed on the site, it’s counted as a new visit, even if you spend most of your first 30 minutes getting a coffee and reading the page. (Click here for their stuff on measuring website traffic).
This article does a nice job of explaining the challenges of measuring web traffic.
© 2011 Greenbridge Management Inc.