Talking about Traffic

There’s been an increase in the number of blogs starting up. It’s like we’ve reached some sort of critical mass where many more people know what a blog is than did even a year ago. I see blog after blog with one post (quite often the WordPress “Hello World”) and maybe a “I’m going to use this blog to talk about my self, my navel, my pet turtle, and other trivia” and then nothing after that (but the sounds of summer crickets).

But for those few who find blogging an exciting medium to connect with other minds floating out on the Internets, here’s a very quick stats primer:

When you want to talk about traffic to your blog, tell me about the Unique Visits not the number of Hits.

Every time a visitor loads a page from your site in their browser it may generate any number of hits. For example, every image on the page counts as a hit. You may have one visitor but it might register as 10 (or more) hits. More images on a page adds up to more hits. Can you see that this number isn’t particularly useful?

Unique Visits are much more useful for looking at the actual traffic to your blog. To calculate this number, the IP address of each visitor is counted once. This number reflects the number of visitors who actually came to your site to see what’s up with you today. Page views add a bit more information, collecting information on how many pages each visitor opened.

For more detail, check out this old page here. It’s from 2005 but is still a good explanation.

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