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are they both set to count the include the returning visitors as 1 in visits and more in returning or is live stats counting them twice in visit if they come back?
hope this helps
This was discussed pretty thoroughly some time ago, although that particular WebmasterWorld item, which had a number of lengthy replies, doesn't seem to be indexed any more.
Somebody who can interpret reports really well might be able to pinpoint the reasons for the discrepancies quickly, because the behind the scenes differences usually are evident in the reports to somebody who knows what they are looking at.
Look at two other statistics: the number of pages viewed and the number of visits (sorry, I did not notice that you are talking about "visitors" and not "visits" in your original post).This will give you an idea of whether the issue is at the filter level, the visitor identification level, or the sessionizing process. If only the visitor numbers are different, then they identifying visitors differently. If the page views are wildly different like you're seeing with visits, then their filters are very different. If the visit numbers are different, it's probably the sessionizing method, which could be tangled up with the visitor identification method.
AWStats shows an average of 4.89 pages per visit, while LiveStats shows 3.91.
Also, AWStats shows the average visit lasting 250 seconds, while LiveStats shows the average visit lasting maybe 140 seconds.
I wish I knew which one to believe.
As mentioned, of course, all of these numbers are guesses, "educated" to varying degrees. To get "exact" figures, you'd probably have to do something like require login and use tracking cookies.
A visit (session) is all the activity that occurs without more than 60 minutes of inactivity. A session break after 30 minutes of inactivity is the more common definition used by the ad industry but you cannot yet change this in AWStats.
...and LiveStats "visits":
LiveStats uses Session IDs to track individual user sessions for people viewing reports or performing configuration. In short, Session IDs are used to identify a session and its visitor privileges.
The term 'session' is sometimes used instead of the more popular 'Visit'. LiveStats 6 no longer uses the term 'session'. This is done not only to conform to the industry standard, but to point out that 'visits' have an administrator-customizable time-out, which was not available in 'sessions'.
A group of transactions between an IP address and the web server. The default visit expires after 15 minutes of inactivity, but this time-out can be customized.
So it looks like AWStats and LiveStats are tracking different things for "sessions" or "visits".
I wish I knew which one to believe.
Basically it does not matter which you believe. What each will actually tell you is the relative changes over time.
In other words, if you use one program constantly it will show you a base line of numbers and referals, then if the referals double over time, you can see your trends
Have a look at [webmasterworld.com...] its old, but is as relavant today as then.
I have a little "banner" on my site that visitors can click on for information. It doesn't get many clicks, but enough to keep it going.
Anyway, that redirects to a CDONTS page called cdoinfo.asp. Each email I get goes into a folder in my email program.
I checked the page views in both AWStats and LiveStats for the number of times that the cdoinfo.asp page was "viewed." AWStats showed 466 for November 1st through yesterday. LiveStats showed 577, although some of those are from today.
When I checked the number of emails in the folder for November 1st through yesterday, I came up with 477. So AWStats is closer, although LiveStats isn't off by as much on page views as it is on visits.
cgrantski, I don't know what the difference between "visits" and "visitors" is. AWStats shows me the total number of visitors, including repeat visitors. Wouldn't that be the same as "visits?"
Right now, AWStats is showing 142,000 visitors (including repeat visitors) for the month through yesterday, while LiveStats is showing 213,000 for the month, including the time of this writing today.
It's still a mystery to me.
But if in fact the AWStats "visitors" numbers that you are quoting are from the AWStats "unique visitors" column, and IF you have a lot of visitors that are making more than one visit during the month, then AWStats would be expected to show fewer "visitors" than LiveStats' "visits" numbers.
As of yesterday, I had 101533 Unique visitors, and 147,623 visits, or 1.45 visits/visitor.
That tells me--and correct me if I'm wrong--that 45% of the visitors to my site are repeat visitors.
The truth, plain and simple, is if you are looking for hard and fast numbers you are out of luck. Anyone who says that can get you hard and fast webstat numbers are either liars or do not know what they are talking about.
joined:Mar 13, 2005
Statistics is the science -- and art -- of using arithmetic and probability theory to work out how likely an association between sets of measurements or between sets of observations is to have happened by chance alone.
It really don't mean squat, one is as right as the other is wrong, but as to which one is which, that choice is left up to you. And sorry I can not and will not help with interpretation of statistics, thou I may say it is best done loosely.
So pick one, flip a coin for all it matters, and run one and only one because in the end it can drive you crazy but a real difference it doesn't make. All I have ever gained from stats are clues as to what is going on, there is nothing further can be gained from it, it really is that simple.