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Tips for the Media When Dealing with Web Statistics

If you're a media professional quoting web site statistics in a story, you need to understand why and how to avoid the term "hits".

Press Releases

Press releases are the biggest source of misleading web statistics. As noted earlier, publicists prefer to quote hits rather than visits because it inflates their statistics. When you receive a press release which quotes hits, send a response asking for clarification, like so:

I prefer not to quote website statistics in terms of hits as this does not represent the actual number of visitors. Could you please provide the number of unique visits instead?

Note that many publicists do not understand the problem of quoting hits and may respond with confusion or even anger. If so, you might like to refer them to this website.

Quoting Statistics

There is no 100% reliable way to record a website's visitors. Some methods are better than others but all stats regarding the number of real people who visit a site are estimates.

When including the number of visits, it is good practice to always say "estimated visits".


If you quote hits, you are misleading your audience!
Getting this right is not being pedantic, it is being accurate.