Does content blocking vary during the week? Sometimes

One of the most fascinating analyses we’ve done recently was looking at how the content blocking rates vary by weekday. The initial question was simple enough: Is there a difference between the content blocking rates between workdays vs the weekend days?

Turns out in some cases yes, in some cases no, and it’s raised more questions to dig into because there is no clear worldwide pattern. Knowing how your website’s audience behaves is critical for both optimizing monetization and ensuring you interpret your analytics accurately.

Firstly, announcing the weekday analytics filter

Because there is no pattern, we’re introducing a new weekday filter for Blockmetry customers to get insights from the data directly measured from their websites.

This new weekday filter is just like the device and country filters, and can be used in combination with them. You can, for example, analyze the content blocking rate by iPhone users in France varies throughout the week.

Now let’s look at some insights that come out of the new weekday data.

Weekday content blocking around the world.

About the data

Unless otherwise stated, all data below is from the weeks 30-May-2016 to 03-July-2016, which we’ll simply refer to as June. This is important to note as we can’t exclude the possibility of seasonality in this kind of analysis, and this analysis is definitely one we’ll repeat in the future.

To simplify reporting, we will report the blocking rates relative to the week’s average content blocking, reporting the week’s content blocking rate as 1.00 regardless of what it really is in absolute terms. For example, if the week’s analytics blocking is 10% and Saturday’s is 5%, the data below will say Saturday’s relative blocking rate is 0.5, or 50% of the week’s average.

As always, we exclude bots from the analysis, here and in the analytics dashboards customers see.

Weekend and workdays were as listed in Wikipedia.

United States

Let’s start with the USA and with the easy report first: During June, the USA analytics blocking rate showed absolutely no difference between workday vs weekend.

However, the ad blocking rate behaved very differently: workdays had 33% more ad blocking (i.e. 1.33 of the week’s average), and weekends had 30% less ad blocking (i.e. 0.7 of the week’s average).

A very useful control to these measurements was Monday the 4th of July, which was a national holiday in the USA. Did this Monday behave as a weekend, as we’d expect, or like a typical workday Monday? It clearly behaved like a weekend day: The 4th of July had 50% less ad blocking than the typical June week, i.e. 0.5 relative to the June weekly averages.

Canada

For both analytics and ad blocking, weekdays had slightly less content blocking (3% for analytics blocking and 4% for ad blocking), and weekends had more content blocking (10% for analytics and 13% for ads).

United Kingdom

The UK ad blocking was 1% lower during the workweek, and 3% higher during the weekend, both relative to the weekly content blocking rate.

The big difference was for analytics blocking: relative to the weekly analytics blocking rate weekdays had 13% more analytics blocking and weekends had 41% less analytics blocking.

In short: Better measure it directly

Clearly there isn’t a pattern that applies to all countries. This was true when we looked at more countries, including countries whose weekend days are not Saturday and Sunday that are typical in western countries. It was also true that different websites had different patterns when looking at the same country.

As fascinating as this insight is, the practical implication is straightforward: Best measure weekday variation directly on your website, and Blockmetry can help. Please sign up here.