First of all, I am not trying to insult or criticize HitBox.com or its network... Just bringing up a new topic idea because I have mixed feelings about them. Let me explain--
Several months back, I added a HitBox (free version) to my site to track the results of a new ad campaign. The stats were great, but we noticed very few users were interacting with the site. Many of them were leaving! I later discovered why: their HitBox ad which is displayed in exchange for providing you with free stats says "web services, enter" or something enticing like that. The problem is, we targeted people in search of web services. Meaning that HitBox got hundreds of unique visitors from us -- and what did we get? Nice stats telling us that we were getting visitors, but off they went to HitBox.com upon browsing our site. Immediately, I logged into our server and removed the code. I later joined HitBox's premium service, HitBox PRO. This works very well for us now, but it costs money. And, as our site gained momentum so did the bill from HitBox, they charge per 1,000 visitors.
My solution: I realized that HitBox is still a neat service, so I use them on one of our sites. The newer site that we run, web-master.tv, has its own internal stats so we have no need for HitBox. Have an experience with web stats companies? Post your opinion here. Thanks, just trying to bring in new ideas.
My mate runs counter.com on his site. Now its quite a poor site and he gets about 4 unique visitors a day. However some of the referal sites that counter.com throw up are very strange !!
He's had 2 soft porn sites and a gay site !!! His site subject is a local football team and there is definetely no link to his site from theses, so how did these show up.
I think it could be advertising on counter.com's part. Companies could pay them to have their sites come up on stats even if they didn't. Perhaps this is a bit of a harsh accusation, but what else could it be. Perhaps it was just a mistake, but if thats the case it has been 3 mistakes, which leads to the point how accurate are their other stats ?
Best thing to do is to grab a copy of webtrends and pull the logs off of the server yourself and run webtrends on it. They have some amazing stats, way more than you'll ever need to know !!!
You're right - HitBOX tries to grab as many of your visitors as it can. The graphic that it puts on each page of your web site is big and would easily catch the attention of your users. I was worried about this pulling my visitors away, but so far not a lot of my visitors have been fooled into clicking the button. What worked for me is to place the button at the very bottom of each web page. This means that it's out of way of the content and site links, so there's only a small chance of your visitors actually noticing it.
I need to use HitBOX on F-Free because my host (being a free host) doesn't give me access to log files. A pity, because using access logs is a much, much better option than a free tracker service such as HitBOX.
Daniel Irvine F-Free - Free Stuff and Freebies!
Well, good to see that I'm not alone... While we're on the topic of web sites, would you mind checking out www.web-master.tv and giving me some feedback? We launched it yesterday, plan to pull in at least 1k visitors per day with new ad campaign. And, we aren't using HitBox! Using log files instead.
I like hitbox for the free service, but I would never pay for them. If you're making something like 20 CPM and sell all of your inventory half of it would go to hitbox if you use their pay service, thats crap.
Get a perl script, there is a link to one on sitepoint somewhere, that will generate your stats rather than paying for hitbox.
TheCounter.com only started throwing up weird referral URL's when they had problems with slowness of their servers and after they added their new sets of servers. I contacted them about this a while back, they said that they "were having problems while the new servers settled into work, but hopefully the problem will soon be resolved"