The internet is a sea of ad trackers. Most of us have probably heard about them. Marketers use them on the web to collect information about our online activity and then sell it to advertisers. Although we might not know which sites use them, they’re still there. Find out here what we can you do about this.
What are ad trackers?
Let’s first see what an ad tracker is and how advertisers take advantage of it.
Ad trackers help webmasters and businesses decide whether to show products or other content to visitors. These pieces of code can track visitors and inform advertisers where they are in their conversion funnel. This is the path someone takes to buying a product or service.
Advertising trackers are scary for users. Also called direct entry trackers or persona trackers, they collect information about any visitor.
The data includes pages that we visit, keywords we select, browsers, referring URLs, and more. Advertisers use these statistics to make improvements to their online advertising efforts. Also, they can thus determine if they should show their products or other product and/or service offers to their visitors.
Some of the most common and more advanced ones are A/B trackers. Sometimes also referred to as sequence trackers, they are single-stage tracking methods. They allow advertisers to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.
Advertisers use these techniques to track sales and conversions of ongoing campaigns. Also, they can explain why their ads are running in response to visitors’ behavior.
Cost per action (CPA) trackers are another popular online advertising sequence method. They are based on conversion patterns and can group visitors into buckets. Thus, they allow advertisers to make comparisons between conversion rates between similar visitor segments. So, advertisers can target people based on the number of times they’ve visited a site. Also, they can make choices based on the number of different URLs users have visited.
Why are they bad?
Advertisers pay to advertise on websites. In most cases websites purchase these ad views, sometimes with our information, for direct marketing purposes. Although websites use trackers to serve better content, they also help them show us ads. Many times they are intrusive and cover content or follow us all over the internet.
Moreover, our data goes from one advertiser to another and we have no control on this. Which is illogical, as it is our data. And data seems to be the most valuable asset that we have. So, we should protect it as much as possible.
It is really annoying that the same ads follow us even if we already purchased the service or object they promote.
How to block them?
Just to be sure we protect our data, we should block all trackers. Although this is the most effective way of protection, it’s too hard to do so on some websites.
So, the most important thing to understand about the tracking is that it’s even worse than we initially think. Here’s what happens when you visit a page that uses advertisement trackers. All we have to do is open up the browser settings.
On an ad-based website, Google Analytics collects information about our web browsing activities. For example, it might record which page we viewed and which result we got. The information is then used to front up Facebook, which in turn might make a sale.
Facebook tracks which ads we see, and our IPs are logged. We can remove some of this tracking by ourselves, with the help of a browser extension. But such a solution also comes with some risks. It will make the loading site increase. Also, it might come with some hidden code to collect our data.
So, do not bother to set up ad blocker extensions.
Instead, choose a Windows native ad blocker. Ad Guardian plus blocks all types of ads and also trackers, even before they reach our browsers. This means better browsing speed and safer data.