Webmetrix – Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my results from Google Analytics (or some other analytics) not match Angelfish?

Angelfish analytics are generated from the web server logs. As such, they cannot include information for any resources where the browser does not contact the web server. These include:

  • Resources loaded from the browser’s cache
  • Resources loaded from an intermediate cache

On the other hand, Google Analytics (or other client-side analytics engines) will count these cached items, but since they typically rely on running JavaScript code in the users web browser, will not include counts for:

  • Pages that do not have the necessary tagging included
  • Pages loaded by a user who has instructed their browser not to process JavaScript
  • Items that cannot normally contain the necessary tagging (such as images)

For these reasons, Angelfish and any client-side analytics will not show exactly the same results for a given web transaction. But because of each of their ways of counting, together they show a more complete picture of the interactions between a visitor and your site.

Why are Webmetrix reports always ending a day or two before the current date?

Web Services processes the server logs on a daily basis. Due to the way that the various servers generate and cycle their logs from one day to the next, it is not possible to ensure that the log processing is complete for any specific web server until it is too late to be able to process the logs and have them ready for the current day. For this reason, the logs are generally processed one, or maybe two days behind.

What is a “Page View”? What is a “Hit”?

Please refer to Angelfish Definitions for the most detailed explanation of these and other Angelfish terms. Briefly, a “Page View” is Angelfish’s best guess at the count of fully-rendered pages visited on your site while a “Hit” is a raw count of files requested from your site. A Page View will generally be associated with a .html, .pgp, .asp, .aspx, etc. file, a Hit will include those and all other file types accessed such as .js, .css, .txt, .jpg, .gif, .doc, etc. This is why the Downloads report is under “IT Reports” and not “Content” in the left tool bar.

Why shouldn’t I trust browser information?

Any information sent from a web browser may have been “tweaked” by the user or by an unknown part in the middle. While you can generally trust the URL and IP address of the request to be correct (else how would you respond to the user?), other information such as the User Agent (browser and operating system) can easily be modified so that a user of Safari on MacOS could actually present themselves as a user of Firefox on Windows. Most users wouldn’t know how nor would they care to, but it is always possible. The same is true of referral information (the Referer header). While usually untouched, there are no guarantees.

Finally, with the use of various VPN technologies, even the client IP address is not 100% guaranteed to be the actual end-user’s IP address. Commercial VPN providers even consider this ability to masquerade as a user from another country as a selling point to get past geo-locked content.