How insideHPC defines page views
We adhere to a conservative description of page views or page impressions as defined on Wikipedia. This information can be helpful to you as an advertiser in evaluating your brand management, and being able to do an “apples to apples” comparison of different publications. From Wikipedia:
A page view (PV) or page impression is a request to load a single page of an Internet site. On the World Wide Web a page request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another HTML page pointing to the page in question. This should be contrasted with a hit, which refers to a request for a file from a web server. There may therefore be many hits per page view since a page can be made up of multiple files.
For example, in the month of November, 2009, insideHPC delivered 1,512,351 page views and 2,941,230 hits. We agree with the majority view that the number of hits is not an appropriate metric given that each external file loaded when a page loads — for example, logos, buttons, and so on — gets counted as a hit. It is straightforward to increase the number of hits by adding zero information to a page: for example, by adding 10 transparent image files to each web page you could increase your hits by 10x without any change at all in readership. As another example publications with multiple advertisements per page also have an artificially high hit count.
Of course page views can be gamed too, for example by breaking articles up into multiple pages and requiring readers to click to new pages to read a complete article. Each subsequent click counts as a new page view, even though the same reader is still reading the same article. insideHPC doesn’t take this approach either — each article appears in full on the page that is loaded when a reader first clicks to read that article. In the case of insideHPC, a page view is almost always an article retrieval or a load of the homepage, which itself primarily contains full articles. The exceptions are for information pages, like the one you are reading right now.
Unfortunately for advertisers, there are no standard definitions, so it is important to be clear when you are talking with publications whether you are talking about page views, hits, or something else. So, ask questions until you are sure you are clear that you are both talking about the same thing.