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Thread: Awstats: what do the two columns in 'connect to site from' represent?

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    Awstats: what do the two columns in 'connect to site from' represent?

    I haven't found proper, full user documentation for Awstats. The section 'Connect to site from: Direct address / Bookmark / Link in email...Links from an Internet Search Engine ' shows two columns, separated by a slash. What does each refer to?

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    I haven't touched Awstats in a little short of forever but from the description I would guess that Direct address / Bookmark / Link in email... refers to visits without a referrer (those who type in the address directly/bookmark the address to visit it/click a link in an email to get to the address) and Links from an Internet Search Engine would refer to visits from people who have a search engine as their referrer (not very useful with Google not displaying the referrer information anymore).

    Not sure where visits referred from other sites would show up in that case though. Maybe it's a column that you are not mentioning here.

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    If you drill down on the 'full list' link it labels those numbers separated by a slash as Pages and Hits, respectively.

    You're right about the documentation, it isn't great. However, the FAQ section on differences from other analyzers has some clues on definitions:

    Some log analyzers use the "Hits" to count visitors. This is a very bad way of working : Some visitors use a lot of proxy servers to surf (ie: AOL users), this means it's possible that several hosts (with several IP addresses) are used to reach your site for only one visitor (ie: one proxy server download the page and 2 other servers download all images). Because of this, if stats of unique visitors are made on "hits", 3 users are reported but it's wrong. So AWStats considers only HTML "Pages" to count unique visitors. This decrease the error, not completely, because it's always possible that a proxy server download one HTML frame and another one download another frame, but this make the over-reporting of unique visitors less important.

    Another important reason to have difference is that an error log files is not always completely sorted but only "nearly" sorted because of cache and writing log engines used by server. Nearly all log analyzers (commercial and not) assumes that log file is "exactly" sorted by hit date to calculate visits, entry and exit pages. But there is nothing that guaranties this and some log files are only "nearly" sorted, above all log files on highly loaded servers. AWStats has an advanced parsing algorithm that is able to count correctly visits, entry and exit pages even if log file is only "nearly" sorted.

    AWStats does not count twice (with default setup) redirects made by server "rewrite rules". Such rule makes two hits into log files, so most log analyzer count them twice, but only one page were "viewed".

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    Chabrenas (17 April 2012)

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    Thanks, cothrun, for the detail on Awstats counting of visitors vs other analysers - and the imprecise nature if eror logs files.

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    Chabrenas,

    Ad Tke7179 says, "Direct address / Bookmark / Link in email" are visits without a referrer. Basically that's everything except visits originating from hyperlinks in other sites (which includes search engine results pages).

    The first column is the number of pages that have been reached in that way. The second column is the number of hits. As you probably know, a hit is any successful request; it includes the page itself, any images in the page, or any other objects that the server serves to the browser. Clearly, it's the first figure that's the important one.

    Mike

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    Chabrenas (18 April 2012)

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