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View Full Version : "unique visitor" = what does it mean?


sparkletack
06-06-2005, 07:24 PM
does the "unique visitor" category track unique visitors for the specifi day that they are listed, or does it keep track of all unique IP address during the month-long period?


www.sparkletack.com

webado
06-06-2005, 08:21 PM
Unique means distinct . The stats are based on the contents of the log, not time dependent. If you have the free service, that's 100 pageloads.

Those 100 pageloads would have been made by anywhere from 1 to 100 unique visitors.

sparkletack
06-06-2005, 08:33 PM
okay, so in other words, if i see 50 unique visitors on one day, and 50 more on the next day, that makes a total of 100 distinct visitors -- there's no overlap, correct?

webado
06-06-2005, 08:46 PM
They could be the same 50 or 25 from one day and 25 others from the next day.

Unique does not mean new. It just means that visitor A is different from visitor B - and that's established by their IP address.

sparkletack
06-06-2005, 09:17 PM
Let me ask the question a different way:

The log shows 50 visitors with unique IP addresses on Monday.
It then shows 50 visitors with unique IP addresses on Tuesday.

Does that mean the my page has received visits from 100 unique IP address over the course of two days -- or could the same 50 IP addresses be showing up on both Monday and Tuesday?

(If I look at the current log for www.sparkletack.com I see over 200 "unique visitors" recorded, if I add up the numbers in the "unique visitor" column, which suggests that the latter suggestion is true. I just want to find out how many truly "unique" IP addresses have visited my site -- am I thinking about this the wrong way???)

webado
06-06-2005, 09:42 PM
They are unique within the context of what you are looking at, out of that group of hits. They may well be the same as the day before.

As I said it's all based on the log which has 100 hits. The hist maybe from the same visitors as before, some or all, or all brand new. This defines the returning visitor notion.

Unique means out of the total hits reported how many distinct ip addresses were there. 1, 10, 100?

For instance my log summary shows for the last couple of days:


Monday 6th June 2005 total=12 unique=3 first time=3 returning=0
Sunday 5th June 2005 .........55............. 7. ...............7 .................0
Saturday 4th June 2005 ........18............. 7............... 6.................. 1


What this means is that today I had 3 brand new visitors (first time). i had a total of 12 hits performed by 3 different (unique) visitors who are also first timers - therefore none of them have been to my site before (returning).

Similar thing yesterday with more hits done by more different visitors who also have never eben to my site before - this bring to 13 the number of uniques over 2 days.

But on Sunday out of 7 different (unique) visitors who collectively did 55 hits, 1 of them had been to my site before (returning) leaving 6 first-timers.

So the total uniques over the 3 days is the sum of uniques minus the sum of returning.

First timers on one day may turn into returning visitors on another day. They may of course become returning visitors on the same day, but they will be reported as first timers for the day.

Or put in another way, a returning visitor was once a first timer - but you won't know how far back this has been. The returning is simply by cookie. If the visitor has deleted cookies they will appear again as a first timer.

So to answer your question: uniques from one day cannot be said to be either the same or different from uniques from another day. Only the first timer vs returning can be an indication and there again the cookies decide - so it's not foolproof.

sparkletack
06-06-2005, 09:49 PM
okay, i think i have it now. thanks for your patient and thorough reply.