homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Receptional & mademetop

Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging Forum

Uniqe pageviews vs visits (GA)
What is the difference
Maciej Ziemczonek

 10:26 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)


I've been trying to learn the difference between "uniqe pageviews" and visits when it comes down to an unique URL.

Google says that: "A unique page view represents the number of sessions during which that page was viewed one or more times." (http://adwords.google.co.uk/support/bin/answer.py?answer=57164)

In my understanding, for an unique URL, the number of pageviews should be equal to the number of visits. However, in my case it is always (meaning - for each unique URL) different. The number of unique pageviews is bigger than the number of unique pageviews.

Could someone explain it to me? I have reported it to Google, got some feedback (ther are checking on it), yet they haven't come with an answer yet.

Perhaps you might have an idea for this situation.

Thanks in advance.



 12:33 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maciej, you scrambled a sentence that would be helpful in knowing what's gonig on - you said "the number of unique pageviews is bigger than the number of unique pageviews."

If you could correct it and explain it more it would be helpful. Are you saying that if you sum up all the numbers of unique pageviews you get more than the total number of visits to your site?

If so, that's correct. It will always be more, except in the special case of each visit containing only one page view.

Google's term "unique pageview" is the same as other analytics' programs term "visits to this page." A visit that saw Page A five times will be recorded as 5 views for Page A and one unique pageview for Page A.

If two visits happened, each viewing Page A and Page B twice, Page A will have four views and two unique pageviews, and Page B will have four views and two unique pageviews. Add them together and you'd get 8 views (correct) and four unique pageviews (wrong - there were only 2 visits).

Does that help or did I miss the point?

Maciej Ziemczonek

 2:38 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

As for the sentence - it should be: The number of unique pageviews is bigger than the number of visits.

I'd like to stress that I analyzed AN UNIQUE URL, not the whole site.

The number of unique pageviews is from Top Content / chosen URL / Content Detail, and the number of visits - from Top Content / chosen URL / Segment - Source.

For a longer period of time the data from Segment - Source section is always "based on sampled data", yet the suggesteg +/- percentages for different sources won't amount to the whole dicrepancy.

For example - for a given URL, I get:

161,820 Pageviews
80,118 Unique Views

And 38,582 Visits from the Segment - Source report.

So - you missed my point slightly :)


 11:17 am on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

i think cgrantski has hit the nail on the head. if an user clicks through to your page- and then hits the back and forward button a few times- it will be recorded as only one visit to your page. but the pageviews will be equal to the number of sessions. this is related to click filtering.

this must be the reason why you're seeing different data for visits and pageviews.

Maciej Ziemczonek

 1:53 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi cliffhanger, thanks for your answer - but I'm not getting your point. What does click filtering have to do with the number of pageviews and sessions?

Could you present your answer in more detail?


 5:10 am on Apr 5, 2008 (gmt 0)


i saw a couple of analytics aco#*$! and confirmed that in all of them the pageviews and unique views have different numbers. this is my understanding:

analytics is differentiating between unique views and page views - in terms of user click behavior. as you probably know, analytics places a cookie on your user's computer to track return visits. but, then often a return visit may not be counted as a unique view.

i am not sure how the differentiation is made. but, i guess if the user is simply hitting the back button "it is not, unique." on the other hand, if the user is closing the browser and opening it again -before coming to your page; or maybe following a unique link in the same browser session to reach that page a second time, "it is unique."

i know this is not the complete explanation. but, i am sure i am pretty close. if you notice, the "unique view" numbers are pretty close to your "page views" number.



Maciej Ziemczonek

 8:19 am on Apr 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmmm. Well, this might be the explanation, but I'm not convinced. If a person visits a given url during their visit, the data is placed in the GA database. And I don't know why the results would be different then.

Closing browser or using a unique link should not trigger a new session. And if there is a new session, a visit to a given url should be also considered another uniqe pageview (since it is a new session).


 1:22 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Maciej

I am looking at a similar problem with HBX.

I need to find out why there is a difference between page views and page visits, when the same page is accessed.

E.g. for one, one page article on a website, I get 361 page views and 254 visits.

It must be something to do with the way these are tracked by HBX.

Maciej Ziemczonek

 1:44 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello sem4u!

Does HBX differentiate page views and unique pageviews?


 1:59 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am not sure if I can get unique page views, but I definitely can get different figures for page views and visits for the same page!

I have had a look through some of the documentation for HBX. Measures such as visits and daily uniques are tracked by cookies, whereas page views are tracked using JavaScript. So, if someone has their JavaScript turned off, or their browser does not accept 3rd party cookies, then I guess the figures could be different.

Maciej Ziemczonek

 2:35 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

If there is no unique pageviews, the number of visits and pageviews will be different in most cases. For example, while browsing, if you enter the same page again or refresh it, it will be still the same visit, but already two or more pageviews. So what you are describing is in my opinion nothing unusual.


 2:44 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ah OK...I see what you mean. Thanks.

I have had another look and it does track unique page views. In the example I gave earlier in the thread, the article had 254 visits and 252 uniques.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Website Analytics - Tracking and Logging
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved