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Re: [webalizer] exit pages

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  • Dave Patton [DCP]
    ... Burnaby BC? I m in Kits ;-) You already have the logfiles, so in addition to what you can get from the various categories of webalizer stats, you could
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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      Greg wrote:
      > Hello:
      >
      > I work in a mid-size public library and we use
      > webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
      > day. The director of the library is interested in
      > using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
      > and determine what parts of the site are being used.

      > Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
      > indicator of which pages are being used the most?
      >
      > tx, Greg
      > Burnaby Public Library

      Burnaby BC? I'm in Kits ;-)

      You already have the logfiles, so in addition to what
      you can get from the various categories of webalizer
      stats, you could always process the logfiles and count
      the hits for all the pages on your site, and produce
      some graphs from that data.

      --
      Dave Patton
      Canadian Coordinator, Degree Confluence Project
      http://www.confluence.org/
      My website: http://members.shaw.ca/davepatton/
    • Bradford L. Barrett
      ... A hit to a particular URL represents a request for that URL by some remote browser, so by definition, the most used pages are those that have the
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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        > I work in a mid-size public library and we use
        > webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
        > day. The director of the library is interested in
        > using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
        > and determine what parts of the site are being used.
        > His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
        > most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
        > he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
        > meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.

        A 'hit' to a particular URL represents a request for that URL by some
        remote browser, so by definition, the most 'used' pages are those that
        have the highest hit count. A lot of people, such as perhaps your
        director, discount the hit count due to a misconception that a URL
        with a lot of images and other bits will generate more hits than a
        plain one, but that is only true for the overall hit total to a site.
        The hit total reported for a particular HTML page represents the
        number of times that URL, and only that URL was requested.

        Someone else mentioned webtrends and urchin for their ability to
        produce user trails or whatever they are calling the these days..
        keep in mind that there are only a handfull of metrics you can
        accurately determine based on your server logs, and those are not
        one of them.. commercial software adds tons of bogus metrics that
        look good on a report, but really are very inaccurate. They need
        bullet points to sell their wares, so good, bad or ugly, they keep
        adding them :)

        PS: some also claim that hit counts can be and/or are inflated,
        because the user can just keep hitting 'reload' to increase the count.
        In theory, this is indeed possible, but in practice, very few users
        ever hit the reload button, so any increase due to this is minimal.
        You can also obtain a rough guage as to how many people revisit the
        URL by comparing the 'hits' number to the 'files' number.. if 'hits'
        and 'files' are roughtly the same, then not many people are revisiting
        that URL.. if there is a large difference, then a lot of users are
        revisiting that URL.

        --
        Bradford L. Barrett brad@...
        A free electron in a sea of neutrons DoD#1750 KD4NAW

        The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people
        believe that computers are inherently unreliable.
      • Peter Yanke - BX Internet
        Greg, Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 5, 2005
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          Greg,

          Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever
          any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
          image, every time another site linked with you...etc. So for example, if you
          had six images and some text on your front page, be it thumbnails or
          full-size or even a background image, whenever someone visits your site it
          will record 7 hits. (one for the site visit and one for each image being
          displayed. So you can see where hits counts can be misleading and unreliable
          as far as a getting an accurate picture of what pages are being visited on
          the site. This is why the ever popular Hit Counters are no longer as
          prevalent on websites as they used to be.

          Of course you are right about only using the exit pages being inaccurate as
          well. My suggestion would be to use the section in Webalizer called
          TotalURLS along with the Entry and Exit Pages sections to get a picture of
          what's going on with visitors to the site. Make sure of course it is
          configured to ignore images and non-page files like script files, but it
          should give you a pretty accurate picture if configured correctly.

          Another useful tool is the Referrers section which can be configured to tell
          you which search engines have sent people your way and which keywords were
          used. Hope this all helps.

          CorbinB2


          -----Original Message-----
          From:
          sentto-2089336-3102-1107573564-pyanke=bxinternet.com@...
          o.com
          [mailto:sentto-2089336-3102-1107573564-pyanke=bxinternet.com@...
          ups.yahoo.com]On Behalf Of Greg
          Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 8:19 PM
          To: webalizer@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [webalizer] exit pages



          Hello:

          I work in a mid-size public library and we use
          webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
          day. The director of the library is interested in
          using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
          and determine what parts of the site are being used.
          His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
          most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
          he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
          meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.

          I, however, am concerned that exit pages as a measure
          of overall usage is not a lot better - why does last
          page viewed have to do with what parts of the site
          patrons are using? I realize there may be some
          correlation, but I think it is misleading as well
          because there may be other parts of our site which
          only have internal links (eg, no way to 'exit') which
          are well used, but will of course not show up in the
          exit stats.

          Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
          indicator of which pages are being used the most?

          tx, Greg
          Burnaby Public Library

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        • Bradford L. Barrett
          ... That is the misconception that I spoke of earlier.. the hit count to a specific URL is not misleading, it is the actual number of times that particular URL
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 5, 2005
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            > Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever
            > any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
            > image, every time another site linked with you...etc. So for example, if you
            > had six images and some text on your front page, be it thumbnails or
            > full-size or even a background image, whenever someone visits your site it
            > will record 7 hits. (one for the site visit and one for each image being
            > displayed. So you can see where hits counts can be misleading and unreliable
            > as far as a getting an accurate picture of what pages are being visited on
            > the site. This is why the ever popular Hit Counters are no longer as
            > prevalent on websites as they used to be.

            That is the misconception that I spoke of earlier.. the hit count to a
            specific URL is not misleading, it is the actual number of times that
            particular URL was requested regardless of what other links or images
            it may have imbededed within it.

            --
            Bradford L. Barrett brad@...
            A free electron in a sea of neutrons DoD#1750 KD4NAW

            The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people
            believe that computers are inherently unreliable.
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