Report: Proxy Server Usage Nears 17 Percent

A new report says that proxy server usage by Internet service providers (ISPs) has increased by 13 percent since April 1999, reaching 16.99 percent on Sept. 13.

Internet tracking and traffic analysis firm WebSideStory said that as a result, Web sites that rely on site traffic measurements based on local log files are underreporting their own traffic.

And that’s certainly significant if your site revenues are largely based on CPM ad revenues.

More details are available at WebSideStory’s StatMarket.com Web site based on data continuously updated in real time.

Proxy caching appeals to ISPs because it reduces bandwidth requirements by eliminating the need to “pull” remote content repeatedly, each time an individual subscriber wants to visit a Web page that another user has already requested, the company said.

For the ISP, the result is faster service to customers and less traffic routed over the Internet backbone.

Smart caching systems also benefit Web surfers since they provide a faster response by reducing the time needed to access popular Web content.

However, proxy caching presents “significant challenges” to the owners of Web sites, the company said, including decreased advertising revenues and skewed audience profiling.

Log file analysis misses hits that are served by proxy, so the totals are misleading.

“By collecting data from hundreds of thousands of Web sites using WebSideStory technologies, StatMarket is able to report accurate figures, including proxy-server visits, to any Web site,” said Blaise Barrelet, president and CEO of WebSideStory.

“This proxy server problem is only going to get worse; some of your most valuable users will be hidden behind a proxy server if you rely on log files.”

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