Page Views and Hits are two jargons you must not be unfamiliar with. The two terms are widely used to boast off the popularity of a website. It cannot be denied that these two terms are statistics for measuring web traffic however what they indicate can be misleading at times. Especially, the high number of Hits, as bragged about by many websites, is a gimmick and distant from what could be the truth behind. Here's the reason why I say so.
Hits: Not A True Indicator Of Website's Popularity
We need to first know what actually a Hit means to be able to draw an inference whether it is an objective statistics for measuring site popularity or not. A website generates a Hit when a file is requested and served on it. An Image file, a video, an HTML-document and so on; anything can be a file and thus, if a webpage contains, suppose 100 images, it will register 101 Hits, 1 for each image and 1 for the HTML document. In such a case, a visitor can reload the same page n times to multiply the number of Hits by a factor n But this in no way means that the website is generating web traffic. Thus, number of Hits can be quite misleading if used to rate a website's popularity.
Page Views: More Reliable Indicator
Page Views indicates the number of times a webpage is viewed by a visitor. When a link is clicked and the page is loaded, the request is registered as one page view. This can be good pointer to gauge the stickiness of a website. Greater number of Page Views per visitor means that the visitor kept surfing through the pages on your website, something that is a measure of the site's popularity and relevance.
However, there is yet another indicator that is much more reliable when it comes to metering a website's popularity. Unique Visitors is the count of unique individuals visiting a website within a period of 24 hours. This is something that can really be bragged about when claiming the popularity of your website.