Sunday, June 25, 2006


Why do normal stats show 0 length visits?

The way website counters or log analyzers work is simple: every time a person goes to a page on your site, a bunch of information is captured, including the time. The counters/analyzers determine how long someone was on your page/website by looking at the time differences.
For example, let's say I am browsing a website. I first go to the home page, then page 1, and then page 2. Counters/analyzers record the information like this:

/ 18:21:00
/page1 18:21:30
/page2 18:21:45

The counter/analyzer will determine the length of time by subtracting. Since I arrived at / at time 18:21:00, and I arrived at /page1 at 18:21:30, I must have spent 30 seconds on /. The same can be done for the time spent on page 1: 15 seconds. The problem comes when the counter/analyzer tries to determine how long I've been on page 2.

Since I did not go to any other pages on the site after page 2, the counter/analyzer can't determine a time difference, so it reports the time spent as 0 seconds. It doesn't matter how long I was on page 2, the counter won't know, and will report it as 0 seconds.
The worst manifestation of this problem is when you have a lot of content on the home page. If a person comes to your home page and spends 2 hours, but never goes to any other pages on the site, the counter/analyzer will display the visit time as 0 seconds. And that could create a huge problem in determining the effectiveness of the site.

Vuby.Net Uses AJAX for gathering its stat. Once in a while a ping is send to the server. This makes sure that even if the visitor doesnt visit a new page in website/blog , you still can gather stat about his visit.

A difference in stats shown by statcounter and on this blog is shown below.

This is From StatCounter

This is From Vuby.Net