Blockmetry for marketers and data analysts
People-based web analytics like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Matomo (formerly Piwik) lose data for two main reasons:
- Analytics blocking, where content blockers, browsers, or networks block the loading or execution of the analytics tag.
- Honoring the DNT header, where the analytics code itself honors the browser’s Do Not Track configuration to not track the individual.
Analytics blocking by consumers is growing
Blockmetry’s own direct measurements (summarized in our Content Blocking Weather Report). In 2017, Blockmetry measured that 8.5% of pageviews blocked analytics. This masks large country and day variation; the analytics blocking rates for a selection of countries:
- France: 16%
- Germany: 20%
- USA: 12%, but this is massively different if it’s a workday or weekend day (when it can reach 20%). And this is based on real consumer concern that is regularly detected in research. For example, the Pew Research Center reported in September 2016, “86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints”.
Regain insights with a new unblockable approach
Blockmetry takes a whole new different approach that allows you to measure 100% of your traffic, acquisition sources, referrals, and even paid media. Instead of tracking individuals, it tracks groups of users, called anonymity sets or cohorts. For example, the Blockmetry pageview reports do not say that a given user (identified by a user ID or a cookie ID) viewed the page, but that someone from a given anonymity viewed the page. Further, one Blockmetry configuration is unblockable, meaning you really can analyze 100% of your traffic.
The mixed blocking environment and paid media
Marketers are increasingly dealing with a mixed environment in how a browser behaves, and it pollutes your data. Publishers are pushing back against content blockers, asking users to disable them to view content. If the user disables the ad blocker to view that site, they will see a business’s ad, and may click through. But this browser is still a blocker by default, meaning the business will be charged for an impression and click, but they may not see that in their analytics. With Blockmetry, the business will see that click, and more accurately measure the performance of that campaign.
Relation to the GDPR
The GDPR gives businesses (the data controllers) a choice of 6 legal bases to use to process personal data. The definition of personal data includes direct identifiers and pseudo-identifiers. This includes cookie IDs and IP addresses. The two most relevant legal bases for web analytics are:
- Consent, which needs to be clear, informed, and can be revoked any time
- Legitimate interest, under which processing happens without user consent, but the business needs to have solid documentation that shows the privacy and rights of users (the data subjects) are not harmed due to this activity. This is called a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). Relying on consent introduces several issues: it may not be given, meaning lost data, and it may be withdrawn at any time, meaning you need processes to immediately honor the individual’s wish. This is why an approach based on legitimate interest that balances the rights and needs of individuals and businesses is best, and Blockmetry helps you achieve that.