Can One Visitor Throw Off Count?

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#1
There appears to be one visitor to our site who is causing the daily hits count to continuously increase as they surf the site. By over 100 hits so far. Unless they are masking some other visitors.

I labeled their IP and so far during the current hour, they alone have increased the Unique Hits count to over 100.

Something is weird here. :confused:
 
#2
There appears to be one visitor to our site who is causing the daily hits count to continuously increase as they surf the site. By over 100 hits so far. Unless they are masking some other visitors.

I labeled their IP and so far during the current hour, they alone have increased the Unique Hits count to over 100.

Something is weird here. :confused:
If they're blocking (or not using) cookies then each visit would count as a unique.

Could it be a bot? There are image indexing bots, for instance - those would retrieve the StatCounter image as well - and bots don't support cookies. Or someone making a local copy of your site - some of the programs for that don't support cookies either (or allow them to be turned off).

Raw logs would be best to check what exactly is happening...
 
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Car Guy

Super Moderator
#3
It could just be someone clicking for fun, although I've got better things to do with my life.

Some browsers has a "refresh" add-on, maybe the browser got left open to your site. "Pre-fetching" maybe.

I get these sometimes.

Richard
 
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#4
My original post should have said that they alone increased the count by 100 hits. 2 visitors to the site in one hour. Yet, count increased by over 100 from check at start of hour to end of hour time frame. (We made some mods and are checking the results periodically.)

It was as if, the first visitor opened a portal that over 100 others rushed through, but only the person that opened the door is identified.

BTW: Hit counts are back to the norm; our visitor from Taiwan seems to have left the site after hitting 222 pages.
 
#5
BTW: Hit counts are back to the norm; our visitor from Taiwan seems to have left the site after hitting 222 pages.
That sounds very much like and off-line reader sucking the site - or possibly an email-gathering spam bot. Was any browser recorded? (Not that that would be conclusive but it might give a clue.)
 
#6
That sounds very much like and off-line reader sucking the site - or possibly an email-gathering spam bot. Was any browser recorded? (Not that that would be conclusive but it might give a clue.)
I am not sure what is meant by an "off-line reader sucking the site", and we don't store any email addresses so that would have been pointless.

the browser was Firefox 2.0.0
 
#7
I am not sure what is meant by an "off-line reader sucking the site", and we don't store any email addresses so that would have been pointless.
An off-line reader is a program that "crawls" a web site to create a local copy of it, so it can then be browsed locally, without going back to the website or even without an internet connection. Reading 222 pages in quick succession is a pattern that would entirely fit with using a program like that. There are many such programs, but I occasionally use Teleport Pro for that (for instance if I want to "save" important information from a site that might disappear).

Different programs have different capabilities, but some possible features are cookie support, retrieving and/or interpreting JavaScript, setting a delay (or randomly varying a delay) between retrieving individual pages, and setting a "user agent" string to appear like a particular browser. Depending on what program was used (if any!) and how it was configured, there might be tell-tale signs. For instance if pages were retrieved with a regular interval (but if not, it may have been set at a random interval), and so on.

the browser was Firefox 2.0.0
Inconclusive. If an offline reader is set to mimick a particular browser, you can't tell what it really was. If it was set to present itself as what it is, you would have seen "other" or "unknown" in your StatCounter stats.

And indeed if you have no email addresses anywhere on the site, a spammer's bot is unlikely. I'm just trying to make you aware of some possible programs out there, and how you may, or may not, recognize them as such. 222 Pages sound to me like something else than merely pre-fetching, so either someone has been clicking like a madman, or been using some program to retrieve all those pages.
 
#8
Thank you so much for the information. I learned something new (I like to do that at least once a day :-D )

Next question: What do you mean by "pre-fetching"? And finally, why would the off-line reader cause my unique hits to increase by the number of pages that were read?

I should mention that StatCounter does show that prior to yesterday, that IP had been there before. ("Multiple visits...")
 

Car Guy

Super Moderator
#9
Pre-fetching is a PC based software that gathers information from a website for later viewing off-line.

A Unique Visitor is determined by cookies; no cookie = unique visitor. The pre-fetching will not accept a cookie, so each page load is a unique visitor.
 
#10
Thank you so much for the information. I learned something new (I like to do that at least once a day :-D )
Just my motto :D

I should mention that StatCounter does show that prior to yesterday, that IP had been there before. ("Multiple visits...")
That makes the off-line reader scenario even more likely - someone looking at a site several times, and then deciding they just want it all for local browsing.
 
#11
caused by cookies off?

This is interesting. I've had a few days recently on a really low volume site, record over 100 unique visitors (compared to, say, on average fewer than 10 per day).

I suspect it's cookies because I've seen the unique visitor count go up in response to a single IP address and I know the person who was using the site.

Can I suggest a new feature? "Unique IPs" - I know some visitors can visit using a unique IP for each click, but generally I find they don't. Giving a unique IP count would be more accurate than unique visitors. I would think that there are more people with cookies off (leading to incorrect unique visitor counts) than the number of people that would skew stats because all of them happen to come from the same IP address (with the same ISP) at the same time.

Just a thought.
 
#12
That is not feasible in the summary stats because there is no lookup of previosuly recorded hits at the moment the sumamry stats counts are incremented - that would take too long. Also summary stats are per day, but if you have more hits epr day than what you log can hold anything that's fallen off the log won't be known so cannot be used for reference.
 
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