Website Hits? Mean nothing unless you move the S to the front

I haven’t been blogging in a few days and I haven’t really been blogging about topics/companies/people lately. Anyways I was reading the newspaper today and noticed something in one of the stories. A company referencing hits as a key traffic indicator and really I’d like to point out something hits don’t mean a thing. Take the word hits and move the S to the front and you have the value of hits.


What are hits? Well Wikipedia defines them as “A hit is a request to a web server for a file (web page, image, JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheet, etc.). When a web page is uploaded from a server the number of “hits” or “page hits” is equal to the number of files requested, therefore one page load does not always equal one hit because often pages are made up of other images and other files which stack up the number of hits counted. Because one page load does not equal one hit it is an inaccurate measure of a websites popularity or web traffic.


A more accurate measure of web traffic is how many page views a web site has. Hits are useful when evaluating the requirements of your server, depending on the number and size of files which need to be transferred for one request. Servers should be tested to make sure they meet throughput targets (they should be capable of processing a certain amount of ‘hits’ per second).


Anyways it obvious some people are still behind the times and not keeping up.


Looking for another perspective on the Hits game, Visit Joel Kelly’s blog (Ad Pro @ Cosette). Great blog entry, Give it a read!


  1. I think the problem here is that the paper made the choice to use hits. From the company’s perspective, they sent out word of the number of users that their widget gained in the first 24 hours (some 8,000). Their media release, etc, didn’t focus on their own web stats at all but rather highlighted the widget since that’s the newsmaker, not how many people went to their website as a result (got to love old media covering new media stories, eh?).

    While I wasn’t there for the interview, I imagine the reporter decided that quoting something in the millions would be better than something in the thousands – when, as we both know, it’s not.

  2. Wow, that didn’t take long. A local web company (Norex) gets some press, and because they’re not in your clique, you generate a twitstorm about it and then post a link to one of your buddy’s blog posts. way to go.

    Ben is right – Brandon could just as easily have said page views. Who’s to say the reporter didn’t use the word “hits” because that’s what the average reader understands?

  3. Fixed the link Joel….

    And while I did say a newspaper I stayed away from directly naming the company.

    As for the choice of numbers, inflated or actual, I was just pointing out that hits are essentially worthless.

    And whats with the clique? I didn’t think I was in one … And as for Joels blog post I thought it was good, hence why I linked to it.

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