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What is the best way to track # of visitors?

tracking visitors

     
5:57 am on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a hitbox code on my mainpage that counts hits and unique visitors, but I run a movie reviews site, so that means I have a bunch of pages -- each page per movie review. At the moment I have over 800. I have been going with the banner impressions to measure how many times people visit my site, in total, but I know this isn't very accurate. Then again, because my site has so many pages, the bulk of my visitors go first to one of my review pages (from search results on, say, google), and not the main page where I have the visitor counter. This is very common with movie sites, because the mainpage is constantly changing. As a result, my banner impression for outweighs my mainpage visitors. Is there a way to get unique/visitor tracking for all my pages without putting in a hitbox code for each one? I want to get an accurate reading, and not have to rely on impressions, which is obviously not very reliable.
2:09 pm on Jan 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The most accurate way of doing this is analyzing your web logs. There are plenty of pieces of software out there that will analyze your logs and give you an accurate count for each page. WebLog Expert is one, but if you do a search for log analysis tools you will find quite a few more. Good luck!
12:29 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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balinor, if you read through some of the recent threads in this forum, there seems to be a consensus that log analysis does not provide very accurate numbers when compared to javscript "trackers".

Log files are great for tracking general trends and for monitoring server health and bot activity, but if an accurate visitor count is the main objective, cookies seem to be the only way.

3:45 pm on Jan 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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While I agree with you lundsfryd that it is more accurate, what happens when visitors have cookies turned off? I don't allow cookies when I am surfing, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Users can't turn off a web log entry.
10:54 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone offer a specific program? There seems to be a large selection out there. A name or two would be great, one that you can recommend, and not just throw out there. Thanks.
2:59 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm a big fan of WebLog Expert....check out their site
3:06 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>The most accurate way of doing this is analyzing your web logs.

Web logs are notoriously inaccurate at giving visitor counts. For a detailed discussion regarding the challenges of accurate visitor tracking, I suggest you read this thread:

[webmasterworld.com...]

As to what tools you might use for log analysis, here is the definitive WebmasterWorld thread on the subject:

[webmasterworld.com...]

6:16 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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tag for later reading. Great information in the links provided