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This chapter is from the book

How Web Analytics Works

When it comes to tracking web visitors, there are two fundamental types of analytics:

  • Onsite analytics uses site-specific data to track visitors to a specific website.
  • Offsite analytics uses Internet-wide information to determine the most visited sites on the web.

Offsite analytics is used to compile industry-wide analysis, while onsite analytics is used to report on individual website performance. Website owners and webmasters are most interested in onsite analytics; this is the type of analytics we discuss primarily in this book.

Onsite analytics works by utilizing a technique known as page tagging. This technique places a "bug," in the form of a bit of JavaScript code, in the basic HTML code for a web page. This embedded code collects certain information about the page and its visitors. This information is then passed on to a web analytics service, which collates the data and uses it to create various analytic reports.

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