Frequently asked question
What is it?
Blockmetry is a pipeline to accurately measure content blocking rates, and, optionally, react. This includes adblocking and analytics blocking.
We work with each customer to understand their measurement needs, and produce unique code for each website to measure exactly what the customer wants. Part of this upfront work is making sure the code measures the content (ads, analytics, etc) you already use on the site instead of introducing a new, or moving to a different, ad serving network or technology.
The data reports show up in the Blockmetry analytics dashboard.
How does Blockmetry work?
Does Blockmetry slow down the loading of the site?
A tiny bit that users will not notice. The code is embedded inline in your HTML, and will fire only once the page is fully loaded.
This has two advantages:
- The tag does not impact page load time apart from the extra few bytes of download.
- It works after the browser has finished rendering all page assets, including ads. That’s the right time to check whether an ad has been rendered or not.
The actual logging is done by calling a custom Amazon Cloudfront URL, meaning it will load extremely fast worldwide because Cloudfront is a content distribution network.
What should Blockmetry be configure to track?
To take a simple example of measuring ad blocking, some useful scenarios to consider include:
- You can track individual URLs. For example, if your homepage has a unique layout in the site, you can create measurement code just for the homepage.
- You can track sections of a site. For example, if your site has example.com/blog and example.com/forum sections, you can track them separately. This is useful if you think different sections on your site attract different types of audience.
- You can track a site-wide ad placement
Does Blockmetry use device fingerprinting?
Not at all! We hate privacy-invasive techniques and Blockmetry does not use any device or browser fingerprinting. Further, Blockmetry’s measurement code does not set or read cookies, and we ask our customers to not send user-identifying information to Blockmetry’s measurement pipeline.
Can Blockmetry itself be blocked?
The short answer is everything can be blocked. We’ve designed the system to minimize the likelihood and impact of a block rule specifically affecting your site or Blockmetry in general.
Fundamental to our design is that we create unique code for each website. This means that if the code from a site is added to a block list, only that site’s measurement is affected.
We also monitor a large number of popular block lists in order to react quickly if a rule targeting a customer site is added to a block list. This monitoring has already identified rules targeting some customer websites, allowing them to design a better user experience.
Can a site show an ad to an ad blocking user and recover revenue? Can a site react in any other way?
Yes. We can work with you to build and deploy custom code to react based on the results of the code’s measurement.
In more detail: By default, the Blockmetry code only measures content blocking rates and nothing more. We can modify the code for your website to react in various ways when it detects a content blocking visitor. Some common examples:
Show a user survey to understand your audience’s motivations and concerns leading to blocking ads on your site.
Show a message to, for example, promote joining a mailing list, paying for a subscription, or simply asking the user to re-enable ads for the site.
Force-show an ad. As this reaction can hurt your relationship with your users even more, we can work with you to design a user-friendly fallback ad.
Data security and jurisdiction
Data security is implemented using both technical and business processes.
All measurement, communications with the databases, and reporting in web front end is over HTTPS.
The data is not currently encrypted at rest in the database; we plan to change that in the future.
We work with each customer to decide which email account has access to the data. We use Google account logins, which means the customer has full control over who can log in. The account is usually the one used to access one of Google Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, or AdWords.
We also have a standard non-disclosure agreement we can use to protect access and disclosure to the data.
By default, all data is stored in the USA. You can request different a data jurisdiction.
We can agree a process to delete log files and non-aggregate (raw) data on request.
Customers can request specific requirements or changes to some of the details mentioned above.
Bots are filtered prior to any analysis (although they get logged). Bot filtering is an on-going process, and we have a pipeline dedicated to continuously improving bot detection.