Tracking Methods Overview

A Tracking Method is used to determine how Visits & Pages are identified during processing.

Each Profile uses one Tracking Method.  The correct Tracking Method to use depends on the data in your log files.

If you're not sure which Tracking Method to use, please open a support ticket and include 5-10 hits from a recent log - we'll let you know what your options are.

  • Angelfish has seven Tracking Methods: two are JS-based, five are Log-based
  • The JS-based Tracking Methods use Page Tags and a tracking beacon / gif
  • The Log-based Tracking Methods use the data in your existing logs
  • Historical logs can be processed with a Log-based Tracking Method
  • Visitors who Block JS can be shown in most of the Log-based Tracking Methods

Tracking Methods


AGF is conceptually similar to other JavaScript tracking solutions: each page of your website needs to reference a JavaScript file (angelfish.js).  When a visitor comes to your website, angelfish.js loads, assigns a unique visitor ID, and makes a gif request (agf.gif) for each pageview.  By default, this gif request is stored in your web server's log file.

Helpful Links


The UGA Tracking Method is able to process tracking requests made by Urchin or Google Analytics tracking code.

This Tracking Method has three options:
  • GA4
  • Universal Analytics
  • Urchin / Traditional

If you keep a copy of the tracking requests sent to Google, you can process this data with UGA.

Helpful Links

SID: SESSION ID (log-based)

Many websites automatically assign a unique ID to each visit. This ID is stored in a cookie and expires when the visit ends. Here are some examples of common session cookie names:
  • ASP.NET_SessionId

With the SID Tracking Method, Angelfish uses this unique ID to identify Visits.

USR: USERNAME (log-based)

The USR Tracking Method utilizes usernames to identify Visits & Pages. The USR tracking method is also able to track unique visitors across multiple devices - the username is the visitor ID.  

Many internal websites and applications log the Username (e.g. SharePoint On Premises), which means USR is a great choice for Intranet websites.


If your organization uses SharePoint Online, Angelfish is able to create reports by downloading Audit Data from your SharePoint instance.

This Tracking Method provides much more detail for your SharePoint Online environment than the built-in Page Analytics reports.  Plus, it doesn't rely on JavaScript so it's unblockable.

Helpful Links


The IPUA Tracking Method has been used by web analytics products since the late 1990's.  It works...but it tends to overstate traffic.

Each Visit to your website has an IP address and a user agent. During processing, Angelfish uses each unique IP address & user agent combination to calculate Visits.

If you use IPUA in a Profile, you'll want to use Filters to remove Visits from:
  • Crawlers, bots, and spiders
  • Spammy IP addresses (e.g. referral spam)
  • Irrelevant Browsers & Platforms

With IPUA Profiles, we also recommend enabling Session Files and the "Ignore Inflated Visits" feature.

IP: IP ADDRESS (log-based)

IP is ideal for logs that use the CLF format.  During processing, Angelfish assigns a Visit to each unique IP address.

Similar to IPUA, IP tends to overstate traffic and we recommend using Filters, Session Files, and Ignore Inflated Visits.

IP is a "last resort" Tracking Method - it should only be used when no other options are available.
Creation date: 4/18/2022 3:13 PM      Updated: 5/4/2024 9:48 AM