Servers are able to compile every request for a web page, arming its operator with the information needed to determine how popular the site is and which pages receive the most attention. When a web server processes a file request, it makes an entry in what is known as the “server log” on the server's hard drive. The log gathers entries across posterity, forming a valuable database of information that the site owner can analyze to better understand the website's visitor activity.
Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website. This necessarily does not include the traffic generated by bots. Since the mid-1990s, web traffic has been the largest portion of Internet traffic. This is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit. Sites monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic to see which parts or pages of their site are popular and if there are any apparent trends, such as one specific page being viewed mostly by people in a particular country. There are many ways to monitor this traffic and the gathered data is used to help structure sites, highlight security problems or indicate a potential lack of bandwidth.