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Re: Webalizer's Handlign of Feeds

  • Subject: Re: Webalizer's Handlign of Feeds
  • From: "Norman L. DeForest" <af380@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 04:03:39 -0400
  • In-reply-to: <plipr1l9ts0jm88t5q78q7jaaods0b9d96@news.markshouse.net>
  • Newsgroups: alt.www.webmaster
  • Organization: ISINet, Nova Scotia
  • References: <dpic53$2r1o$1@godfrey.mcc.ac.uk> <plipr1l9ts0jm88t5q78q7jaaods0b9d96@news.markshouse.net>
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk alt.www.webmaster:309546
On Thu, 5 Jan 2006, Mark Goodge wrote:

> On Thu, 05 Jan 2006 05:50:44 +0000, Roy Schestowitz put finger to
> keyboard and typed:
> >I sometimes use a fairly recent version of Webalizer (now that I check, it
> >*is* the most recent version) to analyse logs. I suspect that visit counts
> >in Webalizer differ widely from the figures reported by AWStats due to
> >handling of requests for feeds. Has anybody noticed the same behaviour? It's
> >as though the definition of a "visit", let alone detection of crawlers,
> >makes the term very subjective.
> The definition of a "visit" *is very subjective. Different stats
> packages use different algorithms to caclulate the figure, and they
> all come up with different answers.
> > What is it that people consider a visit if
> >one tool reports numbers twice as big as the other's.
> I would say that a single visit is one person viewing my site. But
> what if the same person views a couple of pages three hours apart - is
> that two visits, or one? What about three minutes apart - two visits,
> or one? What about caches and proxy servers - how do I distinguish
> different users of these? If a person is viewing my site at 23:59 and
> still there at 00:01, is that a single visit spanning two days or two
> different visits? If it's a single visit, how do I allocate it in the
> daily stats?
> All of these are subjective, and some of them will have different
> answers depending on the nature of the site. Only you can make that
> call for your own site, and configure your stats packages
> appropriately. Using the out-of-the-box default settings simply means
> you're deferring to the opinion of the software's creator, who doesn't
> necessarily share your opinions and certainly knows nothing about your
> website.

Then there are ISPs that offer text accounts via terminal emulators
with each user using the browser running on the ISP's system.  If five
hundred different text-account users at my ISP visited your site within a
short period of time (perhaps you had a security notice that was noted in
the MOTD[1] here or posted to one of the newsgroups dedicated my ISP), all
of the users would be accessing your site with Lynx from the same IP
address.  Your web stats package would likely record them as being the
same user fetching your web page five hundred times.

[1] Message Of The Day
Norman De Forest      http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~af380/Profile.html
af380@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx   [=||=]  (At the Sign of the Flashing Cursor)
"Oh how I miss the days when it was easier to catch gonorhea than a
computer virus."       -- Big Will in alt.comp.virus, March 9, 2005

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