The demise of Simple Web Counters


Since the beginning of the Internet, measurement of visitors and other indicators had been indispensable for people with web pages in order to know the relevance of the site within the whole Internet Universe.  During the 1990’s there used to be a trend of using Simple Web Counters, which are computer software programs that indicate and displayed the number of visitors that the page receives. It used to be showed on the webpage in text or within a catchy image that indicates or presumes the quantity of people hitting the site from a particular date, there so, it also frequently includes the date of last reset or the launching date. Back in the beginning and hype of the Internet, sites with this counters and high numbers of visitants or hits, used to be marked as “successful” or “trendy” among the whole mass of Internet sites available.


Some practices for the web counters

Besides being a way to show off the famousness or popularity and success of a 90s website, the web counters well also used to trick people by offering special deals or prizes to visitors with a determined number in the counter. That was a common scam to get data of users, to send them SPAM or to introduce some kind of viruses into their computers. Such practices are still online, but less common each time and they were known as kiriban and nowadays are consider as a retro computing kind of practice.

The born of new measurement tools

With time, the main purpose of the Simple Web Counters of measure the traffic within a website evolved responding to the needs of getting information more accurate and less easy to cheat or arrange. Other systems with a remote origin and outside nature like Google Analytics or JavaScript and other programs were born as real measurement tools and more accurate indicator to measure the success of websites. Other kinds of element are involved, like time on site and in-site performance, which helps analyst to have a real tracking of the user’s behavior through the site. In addition, with SEO implementation and Google’s take off as the main search tool, a site must have many other elements to be successful and be findable.


Simple Web Counters were considered as “cool” and “trendy” once upon a time, they were a great 90s practice to show off your website and its popularity, however, nowadays it doesn’t throws anything really interesting for the users but a retro kind of feeling. With the increase on the number of websites and the current needs of a more competitive environment, better and more accurate types of measurement are needed. Time on site, number of pages visited, unique visitors, total number of sessions and other indicators are used to compare against time or against other web sites.With the same purpose, in order to know how successful a website is and there is no need to show it off, since your site will be consider as successful as long as it became one of the first results in a Google Search.

Hey there! People owning their own websites or having some kind of relation with website development then you would be very familiar with the term speaking about analytics and counters. They serve the purpose of identifying the number of visitors that are visiting the sites