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Tracking users with AdBlockers
7 points by kundi 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments
Every online marketer, especially those specialized for tech-savvy audiences is probably aware about the use of Ad Blockers and how they prevent us not just from showing ads, but also from tracking information using tools such as Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc.

According to some sources, the percentage of users with Ad Blockers should be around 20%, and on some tech-savvy websites even more.

Do you, as an online marketer concern with this fact and if so, what are you doing to collect the data from the users that are using Ad Blockers?

I am asking because I would be curious if its only us who see the problem. We developed a tool that enables us to bypass all Ad Blockers effectively, and would be curious if anyone would be willing to pay for such solution.

I've thought about this quite a bit. I'm extremely technical, have a background in marketing and publishing, and so I'd be a big liar if I said that ad tech has never appealed to me.

My time in marketing and publishing make me look at this differently. 20% is a lot of traffic, but behaviourally, they're different enough to make me question the investment.

With most people, the worst case scenario is they'll ignore an ad. So few are bothered enough to even find the content of some ads objectionable. If someone goes to the trouble of using an ad blocker, there's a probability they will be actively hostile to the ad. This hostility would hurt both the brand advertising and the publisher.

Then, I think through liability. If my ads serve malware, that's bad. If I have an anti-ad blocker and serve malware, I could be fucked. Any ad network is attractive as a malware vector. One that defeats ad blockers would be too juicy to ignore.

As a publisher, I wouldn't pay to block ad blockers for display ads. The risk would be too great. I would possibly pay per click, but only an extremely reduced amount.

The risk of doing damage to my brand would exceed any benefits of advertising to a hostile persona. You'd have to offer the service at an extreme discount to even have a chance. And honestly, even then, I doubt that I'd trust you.

It's pretty easy to stop ad blockers, but it's next to impossible to predict the potential damage. Marketing has to be as much about risk aversion as about opportunity maximization.

> tools such as Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc.

This is exactly the reason I use an adblocker - Google Analytics isn't a "tool," it is literal spyware.

I also dislike Google Analytics for the same reason. However, I manage several websites and I still want a way to monitor their trafic. And I don't know any other tool that is as easy and complete as GA. Till now I resist the temptation of adding it to my webpages, but I am looking for a solution.

Do you know about an alternative?

You could use something on the server side like AWStats.

Back before google analytics, we did 90% of what it does using software that parsed server logs. I’m sure there are still plenty of tools out there that do that.

Ad blocking is not a problem. It is the solution to the problem of advertisements.

Are you trying to serve up ads or just track users?

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