Hit historically was used to mean “pageview”, however, this is no longer correct. What ‘hit’ actually means is a download of a file from a server. This means every image, every style sheet, every video on a webpage (and the webpage itself) all count as a hit each (as well as numerous other things).
A simplified example:
You enter the URL of a webpage into your browser. The webpage uses a tracking cookie, and has an external style sheet, and contains one image. This would result in one pageview, but four hits – one for the webpage, one for the tracking cookie, one for the style sheet, and one for the image.
It’s actually more complex than this, however, this is why ‘hits’ used to mean pageviews – as webpages used to be a lot simpler and did not contain other elements.Glossary Index