Website Analytics Terms & Definitions

Web analytics can get highly technical for newbies and in the beginning, all these terms can zoom right over your head like so much fluff. But most of these are used by the industry so you’ll be encountering them often enough once you get deeper into Orracle Analytics.

This page is our glossary and contains all the terms that you’ll be meeting. It’s a pretty long read—and quite detailed—but you'll get a better understanding of the way Orracle Analytics works if you read everything.

Orracle Analytics Glossary


The number of visitors that land on your site by manually typing your web address or used a bookmark to arrive at your page. This type of visitors does not have a referrer string attached to their visit.


The number of visitors who came to your site from a referring link from another website, excluding links from search engines


The number of visitors coming into your site from a search engine outside of your site.

Media searches

The number of visitors that came to your site from an image search on Google, Yahoo and Bing.


The number of visitors that arrived on your site by interacting with ads that you may have running elsewhere. Usually, we check the domain of the referrer which may be a known advertising domain or the domain has such terms as "ad", "ads", or "pagead" in it; in which case this visitor is included in this category. This may also include a campaign that you have defined in our system.


The number of visitors who arrive on your site by clicking a link on an email. We do not track links from such programs like Outlook as they don’t send referrer data; our service only supports webmail.


The number of visitors who land on your site from online RSS readers like Google Reader and other similar service.

Social media

The number of visitors coming to your site from popular social networking sites. Supported sites include: Twitter, Pownce, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Orkut, Digg, Reddit, Propeller, Sphinn, Mixx, Newsvine, Sk-Rt, Shoutwire, Stumbleupon, Popurls, Fark, Metafilter, Techmeme, Ma.Gnolia, Flickr, Yahoo Buzz, Del.Icio.Us, Furl, Blinklist, Dzone, Hyves, Nujij, Ekudos, Reporter, Msn, And Grubb.

Visitors / Sessions

When someone lands on your website, visitor count goes up by 1 and a new "session" for that visitor begins. All actions performed beyond the first one is identified with this session.

Sessions end (or "expire") after 30 minutes of idle time. If the visitor leaves and returns several hours later, or they stay on your site but no action is performed and then after 30 minutes s/he does something, visitor count for the day will increase again.

Unique visitors

Unique visitors are those visitors that arrive at your site for the first time for that day, and will only add one to the count. If that visitor returns to your site several times during the day, then your visitor count will increase according to the number of times s/he comes back. Your unique visitor count will stay the same. Orracle uses IP addresses and cookies to check uniqueness.

New visitors

A part of your unique visitor count, it reflects the number of unique visitors that landed on your site for the first time.


Besides monitoring page views, Orracle Analytics also track file downloads, outgoing links, and JavaScript events. These visitor engagements are called "actions" and show you exactly what your visitor is up to while on your site.

Average time spent

The average amount of time spent on your web site, per visitor.

Total time spent

This data shows you the cumulative time that all visitors spent on your website. If your site is usually busy, this value is larger than "1 day".

Bounce rate

Traditionally, a "bounce" on a website refers to a visitor who views only a page on your site and then exits. Orracle Analytics’ bounce rate uses a visitor’s time-on-site data to determine if it’s a bounce or not. If the visit stays longer than 30 seconds as detected by our tracking code, then this is not considered a bounce even though there was only one page viewed. Likewise, any visitor who has more than one page view is also not a bounce.

Traffic sources

This data will give you a bird’s eye view of how visitors get to your site, obtained by parsing referrer data unique to the visitor:


When you arrive at a web page, the web browser you’re using is sending several data to that new page, including "referrer" information. Referrer information tells you what page sent you to that page you’re viewing. For example, if you saw an interesting link on Facebook and clicked on it, your browser will send the URL of that page as the referrer. This is how Orracle Analytics identifies what searches and pages led visitors to your site.  Any time you click a link on a web page, your browser sends the referrer data to the next page you end up on, even if it's on the same web site. We disregard these "internal" referrers though.


We determine a visitor’s organization (and hostname) by checking their IP address in an external database. Although it’s not exactly accurate, the results can be very close and represent a known firm or organization identified with that IP address. Those accessing your site from their home may only be identified through the ISP they use, which may not be of value to you. On your site preferences page, you can opt to see only a visitor’s organization and not the ISP, which is filtered by such keywords as "internet", "broadband", "telecom", "network", and so on. This latter data can be hidden if it matches these filtered terms. It’s not perfect but by enabling this option, you’ll be able to single out visitors with real organization details.


This is the name associated with a visitor’s IP address when looked up. For example, if a visitor with an IP address of comes to your site, the hostname will show "" because this is one of several IP addresses associated with Google.

Outgoing links

An outgoing link is any link on your site that brings your visitor outside of your website. We track this links so you’ll see how visitors are exiting from your website and which sites usually gets the most traffic from yours. When an outgoing link is clicked, it will be included in a visitor’s session information and the number of clicks on that link will increase by 1.


We count clicks on links to a file on your site. When the file is downloaded (or clicked), it will become part of the visitor session, and the overall number of downloads associated with that file will increase by 1. Supported file extensions are: 7z, aac, avi, csv, doc, exe, flv, gif, gz, jpg, jpeg, mp3, mp4, mpeg, mpg, mov, msi, pdf, phps, png, ppt, rar, sit, tar, torrent, txt, wma, wmv, xls, xml, and zip.


Besides page views, outgoing links and downloads, events are the last action type tracked by Orracle Analytics. It can be associated with JavaScript events, other clicks on your website, and other interface elements that site visitors are interacting with. If there are other events you’d like to track, then these will have to be manually set up.

Recent links / searches

Log of all incoming links and searches that referred a visitor to your site, listed in reverse chronological order.

Newest unique links / searches

Log of first-time occurrences of specific links and search terms that brought a visitor to your site from the time you installed Orracle Analytics, listed in reverse chronological order.

Entrance / exit pages

Also known as a landing page, the entrance page is where new visitor sessions begin. These may be your home page (if the visitor type in your URL or used a bookmark) or an inside page on your website referred to by backlinks or searches. We track entrance pages so you’ll have an idea which pages are the most common "first pages" that visitors see on your site. The exit page, on the other hand, is the last page where a visitor has been before they left your site.


Spy is a live stream of actions on your website as they occur. The data is similar to what you’ll see in the main Actions list page—page views, downloads, outgoing links and clicks. Inspired by Digg Spy (…and it could be very addictive.


Short for "Really Simple Syndication", RSS extracts chronological data from one website and displays it on another. Blogs, for one, have RSS feeds which contain a list of recently published stories, arranged from the latest to the oldest. Orracle Analytics provides RSS feeds for such recent, chronological data regarding website traffic like visitors, incoming links and searches. You can get these feeds by clicking the RSS icon on your navigation bar. You can choose to show this data on your website, or on an RSS reader like Google Reader.