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Stats Logs, And Cached Page Access

Some blog owners like to validate their Stats displays, using third party visitor logs like StatCounter.

Since Stats displays aggregated page view counts - not individual visitors - a blog owner will find many discrepancies between Stats and StatCounter. One observation might involve Stats indicating periods of no activity, where StatCounter shows an interesting visit.

A visit, registered by StatCounter - but not by Stats - indicates an apparent problem with Stats. Or, so the blog owner might think.

StatCounter displays page views, by counting clicks on the readers computer.


(Note): Please observe that "page views" come from both dynamic pages ("posts") and static pages ("pages") being accessed. When I refer to "page views", don't get confused about dynamic pages ("posts") vs static pages ("pages") - "page views" apply to both.

Stats displays page views, from the Blogger servers. If a page being accessed, by a reader, is already in cache on the readers computer, there will be no access to the Blogger server, and no Stats activity.

This discrepancy can contribute to confusion about visitor count. If two readers, sequentially sharing a public computer, access the same blog page, StatCounter may indicate two visitors.

If the first reader does not cautiously clear the computer before vacating, the second reader will access the page from cache - and will not register Blogger server activity. Stats will show no page views, indicating a second reader.

If a computer is being used with other people waiting for a turn, a reader may not have a chance to clear the computer before giving control to a second reader. The busier the computer, the greater the chance that Stats and StatCounter may show an apparent discrepancy.

There will always be differences between Stats and any other visitor log - just as there will always be differences between any two visitor logs, in general. A discrepancy is not always an inaccuracy.

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