Internet, Audience, Web site traffic, Web ad, Privacy, Traffic auditing
With changing in time and mass communication technology advancements, various qualitative and quantitative research methods have been developed by audience research, in response to different needs.
Based on many research reports, which indicates: The steady increase of Internet users, e-commerce and Internet advertisement, the Internet has becomes another important communication channel and sales method. Because Internet possesses the ability to conduct online trading, sales and mass media, the role of Internet audience has become very important. At the moment, how do we actually conduct research on Internet audience? How do we use the collected Internet audience information? Will we infringe on personal privacy? Because of Internet has no distance limitation and the ability to use fake identities, which will cause difficulty to verify each audience’s true identity. But, with the availability of Internet, it also provides additional methods for audience research.
This paper attempts to follow the traditional audience’s qualitative and quantitative research methods, and to further analyze literatures and conduct in-depth interviews. Based on the current internet audience research methods, we have divide it into seven categories, and analyze each individual method’s positive / negative points and its applicability, also, to probe the related questions, and hope to provide some new directions and suggestions for the future researchers.