Page Views


The number of times a page (an analyst-definable unit of content) was viewed.


Most web analytics tools allow the client to specify what types of files or requests qualify as a “page.” Certain technologies including (but not limited to) Flash, AJAX, media files, downloads, documents, and PDFs do not follow the typical page paradigm but may be definable as pages in specific tools.

Content, such as XML feeds (RSS or Atom) and emails that can be delivered to both web browsers and non-browser clients are not typically counted as page views because the request or receipt of the content does not always correspond to the content being displayed. As an alternative, image based page tags can be placed inside such content to track the views of all or portions of the content.

Web server responses returning status codes indicating the requested content was missing (400 to 499) or there was a server error (500 to 599) should not be counted as a page view unless the web server has been configured to return a real page in the same response with the status code. Returning a page such as a site map, search page or support request form instead of the default missing or error messages is configurable in the most widely used web serving applications (Apache and IIS).

Web server responses returning status codes indicating redirection to another page (300 to 399) are also not typically counted as page views but can be used to track events such as click through with systems specifically designed to use the redirect as a counting mechanism. Most redirect counting is done with a status code of 302.

Within the status codes that indicate a successful response (200 to 299) there are few status codes which also may or may not be counted as a page view: The 202 status code (Accepted) is returned in cases where the request has been accepted by the server and the server might or might not return content to the request at a later time. It is not possible from this response to determine if the content was ever sent so it would typically be excluded from page view counts. The 204 status code (No Response) tells the web browser there is no content to return but no error has occurred so the browser should stay on the page prior to the request. It is essentially a non-event. The 206 status code (Partial Download) usually occurs with the delivery of larger file downloads such as PDFs. This code indicates that only a part of the file was delivered so it typically should not be counted as a page view.

Filtering by status codes to remove requests that should not be counted is generally needed only when processing raw web server log files and is not usually needed in page tag based implementations. Vendors do make different distinctions in deciding what should be counted. Consult your tool provider for more information on your implementation.

By AFS Website Analytics.

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