THE "UNIQUE" BOONDOGGLE OF THE INTERNET
The UU/V "Unique User/Visitor" statistic is the most commonly accepted measurement of popularity for an internet property and is used by websites, marketing firms, and investment companies to quantify the breath of their audience, justify the price assigned to advertising units, provide a basis for appraising the value of the internet property "website".
However, it is inherently overstated since the method of consumption for a website is mismatched with these other media like "tv, radio, and newspaper" due to the internets multiple channels of distribution of content.
So what is an "Unique"?A "uNiQue" is the internet industies atttempt to create a metric that is comparable with the TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) metric used in television, radio and newspaper to measure the distribution of their respective content to a number of distinct consumers.
According to IFABC "International Federation of Audit Bureaux of Circulations" Global Web Standards, a unique user (UU) is "An internet protocol "ip" address assigned to the internet device, plus some other unique identifier over a specified time period".
So why is the "uNiQUe" statistic unreliable/inflated?Assume the following case and you will quickly see, why it is so unreliable and inflated?
You have a favorite site that provides you with news and information regarding widgets and you follow this site as much as possible.
"uNiQue #1" - You access the site on your home computer with a good cup of coffee.
"uNiQue #2" - You access the site on your cellphone, while you are on the train or bus to or from work. Please do not drive and surf ;)
"uNiQue #3" - You access the site on your work computer, of course on your break. ;)
"uNiQue #4" - And finally when you go to bed you access the site on your tablet.
Total Distinct Consumer: 1
Total Unique Users: 4
The example website has one (1) "uNiQue" user, but the log data represents four (4) uNiQue users and the number is easily inflated by a factor of four "4".