A page view (PV) or page impression is a request to load a single HTML file (web page) of an Internet site. On the World Wide Web, a page request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another “page” pointing to the page in question. This should be contrasted with a “hit”, which refers to a request for any file from a web server. There may therefore be many hits per “page” view since an HTML “page” can be made up of multiple files.
Page views may be counted as part of web analytics. For the owner of the site, this information can be useful to see if any change in the “page” (such as the information or the way it is presented) results in more visits. If there are any advertisements on the page, the publishers would also be interested in the number of page views to determine their expected revenue from the ads. For this reason, it is a term that is used widely for Internet marketing and advertising.
With the increasing pervasiveness of AJAX, the metric of page views has lost some significance since AJAX requests often have JSON or XML payloads, instead of typical HTML. Consequently many companies count significant AJAX requests toward their page view count.
Page view counts may also include hits to other file types like PDF, MS Office documents, Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF), (flash) video, in addition to the typical HTML file.