Due to leap and bounds in technology with the advent of search engine spiders and robots, even the use of web proxies and dynamically designed IP addresses for huge corporates and ISPs was making is very cumbersome to identify the unique visitors. A log file maintained to retain some of the transactions. But it was found out that this stored information proved useful to find out the the popularity of the website. Hence the web analysis software was developed. You may also visit intdmf.com for more info.
Web server log file analysis
Earlier in the 90s it was calculated by counting the number of hits by the visitors on the site which was recorded on the web server. This method worked as the website contained only a single HTML file. As time passed and not only HTML files but images were also used along with the increase in files made this a method obsolete.
Then another method was devised, basis of which were not only the visitor hits but page reviews. Whenever the search engine was asked for a certain page it would store the information on the web server. As per the visit was specifically known as client on the sequence of the requests presented. These client request would expire after a point of time because of no activity. Usually thirty minutes would serve the purpose. Still this method has declined in use now.
There are two kinds of web analysers
- Web server log file analysis
- Page tagging
The log analysers at intdmf.com would track new visitors but ditched known ones. This was done by using cookies. The web caches worsened the problem as the visitors would not have to go back to the server to retrieve further pages as they already stored in the cache. Hence the server will lose track of the visitors as they navigate through the cache. But putting all the information on the server will overload it and slow it down, so we can not do without the cache.
As there were several loopholes in getting the accurate analysis by the above method did not work out to the benefit of the users who were trying to gauge the traffic to their website. The above method just over complicated the whole thing and it was then outsourced to the persons who specifically handled such kind of data.
A new concept page tagging or web bugs as they were called were created to to keep track on the visitors as they navigated through the various web pages they visited.
In the 90’s there were certain platforms created known as the web counters which kept track of the number of times the visitors requested for a certain image which was then generally calculated as the number of times the visitor has visited the page.
This image request information would be passed down in the form of an invisible image with the visitors’ information and the page of request. This information was crucial for the web analytics company to crunch the numbers and provide required data to the parent company.