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Say What? Internet Lingo

By: Mary Blackmon
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

I just took an amazing trip to France, but stammered and stumbled over my words when trying to communicate with people who were working really hard to understand me. I studied the language in high school and college, so I thought I’d be able to navigate my way through the cafés and streets of Cannes. Although I should get an “A” just for effort, as much as I thought I knew, I’m pretty sure I ended up saying things like “I love this chocolate machine and little blanket.”

Language barrier

The same thing frequently happens to most people when they try and communicate with techies who are working on their Web site, or even with online advertising salespeople or publishers who are trying to explain their site’s differences and statistics. True, most spas host Web sites, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their owners know how to communicate effectively with others about them. The Internet really does have its own language, and people often operate under the assumption that they know what they’re talking about when they actually may not.

For example, how many times have you asked the question, “How many hits does your site get?” Well, that’s not really the right one to ask! It should be, “How many page displays does your site get?” There is a big difference between page displays—also commonly referred to as “page views”—and hits. Why? Because one page view can have a dozen or more hits. This fact allows someone to correctly claim that their site gets millions of hits, but it may not answer the question that you meant to ask.

A “hit” does not determine the size of someone’s site. It is a graphic image, such as a logo, picture or graphic button on the page. And any site can have millions of hits, depending on how many graphics it displays. It has nothing to do with a Web site’s size or popularity. Shocking, isn’t it?

There are many other terms that are important for you to understand, including the following.