Fran, the preview to which you refer, I think that's for the Page Previews feature (i.e., when a user hovers over a link on desktop Wikipedia) or its corresponding feature in the the Wikipedia for Android (triggered by default on link tap) and Wikipedia for iOS (force press) apps, is that right? Are you saying that browser-based prefetch activity (e.g., with resource hinting like ) is also tagged the same way?

Chenqi Zhu, I think what you're suggesting is the possibility that browsers might be issuing HTTP prefetches for Wikimedia-hosted pages and that could inflate pageviews. I'm not sure, but have you happened to observe user agents making prefetches when resource hinting ( ) is absent? I'm not sure how often, if at all, discovery platforms like search engines are actually placing resource hints into markup (which is mostly deterministic as far as browser behavior) for Wikimedia content...nor to what degree there might be heuristics being used for prefetching independently of any resource hints. Do you have any data or field observations to help clarify?

Browser settings allude to this sort of behavior (e.g., in Chrome, there's "Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly", which is described at ), although I think without digging into browser source code it's a bit hard to know for certain what's going on "under the hood". We do use preconnect and prefetch semantics and the like in different contexts (cf. , ...there may be more).


On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM Francisco Dans <> wrote:
Hi Chenqi,

You can find out more about what constitutes a pageview in its Metawiki article:

As you can see, one of the conditions is whether the request being examined is a preview or not, in which case it is not counted as a page view. Hope this helps!


On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 5:30 PM Chenqi Zhu <> wrote:
Hi everyone,

I am trying to better understand the pageview data. I have a quick question. I apologize if the question has been asked or it is so naive.

If the web browser prefetches a Wikipedia page, does it count as one pageview in the pageview data? By "prefetching", I meant X's Wikipedia page shows up in the search results and the browser prefetches/preloads the search results but I do not click on X's Wikipedia page. If so, the pageview data seem to over-count the number of visits to X's Wikipedia page.

Thanks in advance for any insight. 

Chenqi Zhu
New York University
44 W 4th St., Suite 10-185(B),
New York, NY 10012, U.S.A.
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Francisco Dans
Software Engineer, Analytics Team
Wikimedia Foundation
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