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Where do Pageview numbers come from?

When I first enabled netlify analytics for a new site, I was surprised at how many pageviews and unique visitors were reported. I wanted to dig into raw server logs, but realized those weren’t accessible.

So I cobbled together some very basic client-side analytics code. Other than my own testing, I see some google crawler, facebook, and an uptime service. However that still doesn’t account for 300-400 daily pageviews that Netlify Analytics reports.

Where are these numbers coming from?

The site is https://2ndvax.com

Hi @2v-jmitchem

Have you had a read through the Analytics Docs?

I have, hence the question.

I hate to be accusatory, but it seems to me that Netlify Analytics is reporting incorrect data. At first I thought the site was being visited by crawlers that somehow found the site before there was any public presence of any sort. I can think of a few ways that would be possible, but at least some percentage of that should show up with client-side tracing. I’m seeing nothing that indicates the reported values are accurate.

I mean, yes, I understand server-side logs show things that wouldn’t show up on client-side logs. Any non-javascript running service would trigger that. Nearly every HTTP library short of Selenium would trigger that. I’ve been running and developing against web servers off and on since the late 90s.

But a few things stand out to me. 1) there are 310-330 page views every day, and 260-275 unique visitors reported every day; 2) that traffic seems exclusively to the root page; i.e., no link-following.

So let’s say it’s being monitored by botnets or some other scamming software that got wind of the domain by questionable means. That would explain spikes, and intermittent behavior. It would explain the missing requests for wordpress config paths. But it doesn’t explain the consistency.

Thus, getting back to the question, where is this traffic from? Is this real traffic or a bug in the data aggregation?

Then don’t do it. :slightly_smiling_face:

I am (currently) running Netlify Analytics along with Counter on a couple of sites. And yes, they show different results. But then so has Google Analytics compared to Mixpanel or Heap Analytics (and others) when I have used them in the past.

Another threads you might find interesting (if you haven’t already read them): Over 100x more views in Netlify Analytics than Google Analytics?, Netlify Analytics showing 10x more results than GA, or search #netlify-analytics.

You may get more answers from the above linked threads. If not, a Support Engineer might provide you with some more specific insights.

I’m obviously very late with this response, but thank you for your time.

Unfortunately it seems that while I appreciate, in concept, what Netlify Analytics does, it’s not really serving any of my needs for actionable data.

Namely I can’t answer the following questions:

  • How many visitors are “real people” vs automated services, partitioned by type of service?
  • What percentage of that traffic is mobile/tablet/desktop?
  • Are people getting frustrated with the mobile experience vs the desktop experience, based on where they exit and/or time spent between navigating links?
  • Are people using older browsers that I didn’t anticipate in the design?
  • What are the paths that are often taken through the site?

The actual ip address can be anonymized, but these are questions that can be analyzed with raw server logs, but it seems everyone’s hands are tied on that.

Hi, @2v-jmitchem. About your original question, the Analytics page view counts are counts of the HTTP requests made to URLs which return HTML.

Specifically, it is the count of HTTP responses with the content-type header with a value of text/html.

Regarding getting access to the raw logs, the only way to do so currently is the Log Drains feature here:

Please note, however, that feature is currently in beta and also currently only available for Enterprise plan teams using the HP Edge network.