There are legitimate reasons.

Keeping a close eye on who is visiting a site, for how long and to which pages isn't, of course, only for advertising and revenues. Sometimes we simply want to know which are the more popular pages on our site. I can readily imagine a technology site such as CNET, feeling the need to cut back on expenses, reviewing the statistics to the columns written by its various columnists. There may be numerous reasons for preferring one columnist over another, but the question of who gets read most (or least), something that site statistics could quite easily tell us, would quite logically be a factor in determining who, in a crunch, might find him or herself out of a job.

Site statistics could also tell that same site that a growing number of visitors were using a particular operating system, or a particular browser, which could be a factor in choosing to focus more writing, or reviews, on those products, or on tools that use those products. These statistics can also, sometimes in a rather roundabout manner, tell us what our readers would most like to read.

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