Hits or Misses?

Jun 22, 2004

CIO Update Staff

You know that computers run the Internet. You know computers are efficient and flawless counting machines. Conclusion: Internet websites must know with excruciating accuracy who is visiting them. Right?


Surprising as it may seem, most Website administrators have no idea how many people view their content. This inherent fuzziness is causing problems for commercial Websites, especially online publications desperate to make money from Internet advertising.

How fuzzy are the numbers? Consider the widely used gauge called 'unique visitors'. That's commonly regarded as the number of different computers that visit a website as measured by that website's log or counting software. But actually, it measures the number of Web browsers that access a site. So if someone uses Internet Explorer to reach a site, then accesses it again from the same computer using Netscape, the website logs two unique visitors.

So the question (and challenge) becomes: How can you charge for ads when it's nearly impossible to tell advertisers how many people will see them?

See the complete story at The Christian Science Monitor's Website (even if they don't know you're there).

This article was compiled and edited by CIO Update staff. Please direct any questions regarding its content to Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.


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