Web Analytics: Sessionisation Methods Part 3 (IP-based Sessionisation)

Non-cookie Sessionisation Methods

As the name implies all the three sessionisation methods listed here do not make use of cookies. Since most people are more familiar with cookies they do not realise that there are other methods, such as the ones we’ll be discussing, that can be employed to gather the data needed for website analysis. This is good news for those developing government sites.

1. IP-based sessionisation
 - There are actually two kinds of IP-based sessionisation methods - the“IP Only” and the “IP plus Agent” methods. Both methods make use of the IP address of the user’s PC to be able to gather data such as numbner of page visits, page views, and click paths. However, the IP Only method is considered to be inferior to the IP plus Agent since, as we all know, IP addresses of people using the same service provider can be the same. Because of this there’s a big chance of lumping visits from different users as visits from the same user resulting in erroneous data. With the IP plus agent method the browser information of each user is also noted so that visits from those sharing the same IP address can be differentiated, leading to a more accurate data set.

Note though that neither of these two methods can provide repeat visitor metrics. However, if you are looking for something that works like session cookies then the IP plus agent sessionisation method should suffice.

Source: Web Analytics Traffic Metrics Best Practices for Government Agencies by WebTrends Marketing Lab

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