von Thekla von Plate, Content Marketing Manager, Webtrekk

Ensuring data quality despite ad blockers and new browser settings

Your tracking could be affected by the new Mozilla Firefox settings.

According to a recent study by the BVDW, almost 25% of German internet users use an ad blocker of some sort. In the US, this rate is estimated to be even higher, at 30.1% (Statista 2016). Besides blocking ads, these tools often also suppress website tracking. Additionally, more and more web browsers now contain blocking capabilities. The idea behind this is clear: a user should have the right to disable tracking as it can also lead to a longer website load time as well as expose more personal data than the user wishes to reveal. Due to demand, Mozilla Firefox has recently announced that third-party tracking will be fully disabled by default. For some time now, Safari has made it possible to prevent cross-site tracking and block third-party cookies.

Effect on website data

We at Webtrekk generally welcome attempts of protecting users from unwanted data tracking. We believe that data should always be collected and stored in a transparent way. Users who wish not to be tracked should have an easy and convenient way to opt out. But every so often the essential, first-party tracking is also accidentally disabled. Companies hence lose the ability to generate data they need for statistical reasons and to create a sustainable user experience. A missing data foundation can quickly lead to drawing false conclusions, which benefits neither users or businesses.

Below we’ll show some of the discrepancies that occur time and time again if the database isn’t sufficient in both quality and quantity.

1) Incomplete Budget Calculation

Incomplete data makes reliable budget calculations impossible. How can ROI be calculated if the number of visitors is unknown? How can eCommerce companies reply on their revenue calculations if they don’t match the actual sales figures? To sum up: if online stores are lacking a proper database, they have no basis for making data-driven decisions. 

2) Blurry Demographics

Millennials are particularly attentive then it comes to protecting their data. They are prone to using ad blockers or browsers with very high security standards. An important target group that drives most revenue online might be highly underrepresented in website data if they cannot be tracked thoroughly. 

3) Hampered Personalization 

If a website is to be adapted for the needs of their visitors, website owners need to be able to identify those visitors in the first place. If the target group can’t be fully identified how can the website be optimized for the user? Websites can’t be optimized for those users who fly under the radar. 

4) Incorrect Projection of Ad Revenue

Visit numbers are a marketers most important currency. When visitor data is only partially complete, the value of ad placements decreases.

These are some of the reasons investing in a complete, data-tracking concept is vital.

Custom Tracking Domains 

What are your options as a business in times of ad blockers? What are the alternatives that can ensure great data quality? Our Custom Tracking Domains can certainly help: they make it possible to gather data within your own domain. Data is collected and processed even if your users have implemented ad blockers or a are using browsers that hinder data collection.

Custom Tracking Domains collect website data within the website domain itself. Data is not forwarded to an external address that could potentially be blocked. Therefore, ad blockers or browsers have no reason to disrupt the connection. Using a Custom Tracking Domain will absolutely improve your data quality. Another way to look at it is this – imagine a Custom Tracking Domain like an extra room in your house (your website). This extra room is where your data lives.

We invite you to get in touch if you would like to optimize your data collection while also being completely GDPR-compliant. Further information about Custom Tracking Domains can be found here.