What are “Hits”

What are “Hits”

 What Are Hits?

While Dictionary.com defines hits as: “a connection made to a website over the Internet or another network”, this definition is actually quite vague. A hit is actually a successful request to your web server from a visitor’s browser for any type of file, whether an image, HTML page, an MP3 file, or any other type. A single webpage can cause many hits – one for each image included on the page.

If a single web page contains 20 images, that’s 21 hits – 20 images plus 1 for the page itself. If one single person looks at 10 web pages which each contain 20 images, that individual is responsible for 210 hits.

Some websites will say things like “our site gets 2 million hits per month.” That sounds impressive, but it can be completely misleading.

A website could have an average of 50 images or other elements per page, while another website could be all text-based. Or worse, a particular website could have hundreds of tiny 1×1 (pixel) transparent graphics that are invisible. Fifty people in one month could easily accumulate two million hits if they visited just five pages on that website every day.

Traffic reported as “hits” should be open to skepticism. However, the problem is when someone uses “hits” as a phrase to talk about real people visiting their website (a.k.a. “visits” or “sessions”). In these cases, you don’t know if they are really talking “hits” or actual “visits”.

“Visits” or “sessions” is the best method of measuring traffic.

Typically “visits” or “sessions” are a series of clicks on your site by an individual visitor during a specific period of time. A “session” is initiated when the visitor arrives at your site, and it ends when the browser is closed or there is a period of inactivity.

This method is a good way to know how much real traffic your site is getting. If a website says “we get 2,000 visits per day,” that’s impressive. But if they say “we get 2,000 hits per day,” you just can’t be sure.

“Pageviews” is another great method of gauging your website traffic.

“Pageviews” are a request from a visitor’s browser for a displayable web page, generally an HTML file. In general, images and other embedded content, such as style sheets and javascript, are not considered to be Pageviews.”

If a site says they receive 2,000 “pageviews” per day, that’s pretty good.

Google Analytics has become a leader in website statistics over the last few years. It should be noted that Analytics do not report “hits” anywhere. They focus on “visits” as their default metric