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A hit is a metric used in website analytics. While "hits" and "visits" are sometimes used interchangeably, they are two different things. A visit is recorded when a user visits a webpage. A hit is recorded for each resource that is downloaded from a web server. Therefore, it is common for hits to outnumber visits, often by a ratio of more than 10 to 1.

Most webpages reference multiple files, such as images, CSS documents, and JavaScript files. Each local file referenced in the HTML counts as a hit, along with the webpage itself. Therefore, if a page includes eight images, references two CSS documents, and links to three JavaScript files, it would record 14 hits each time a visitor views the page.

Because website hits can vary depending on how many resources each page contains, the metric is rarely used to measure website traffic. Instead, most webmasters track other metrics, such as visitors, unique visitors, and page views.

NOTE: The term "hits" can also refer to the number of search engine results for a specific query. For example, if you perform a Google search that generates 300,000 results, you could say the query produced 300,000 hits.

Updated: April 16, 2015

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