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Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is a real visitor to a web site. Web servers record the IP addresses of each visitor, and this is used to determine the number of real people who have visited a web site. Software that tracks and counts web site traffic can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors who return to the site.

The statistics about site's visitors quantity is provided by placing a cookie on each visitor's computer, writing the cookie ID to a database, and checking for the cookie on each visitor's computer every time they visit the site or by requiring all visitors to log-in to the site, thereby capturing the identity of each visitor on each visit. There are some ISPs hat use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, such as AOL and cable modem providers, which use different IPs for every file requested, making one visitor look like many. In this case, a single IP address does not indicate a unique visitor.

It is important to know the quantity of site's unique visitors because it is an indication of the website's success. If a site has high visitor counts but relatively low page per user counts, that means that people don't regard the site as enough attractive one and don't read through it. On the other hand, if the site has low visitor counts and very high page per user counts, that is the sign the site supplies good information but should have better promotion and advertising.

The statistic is relevant to site publishers and advertisers as a measure of a site's true audience size, equivalent to the term "Reach" used in other media.


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