I admit I’m a bit stuck in the past when it comes to this. Does anyone know of any decent FREE Quantcast / Compete.com / Nielsen NetRatings alternatives? Don’t tell me Alexa :)

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I'm out of date but didn't tracking pixels and a lot of other tracking burn down with browsers implementing blocking for tracking?

The tracker blocker in Opera does exactly that. Block known online trackers like analytic scripts, tracking pixels and other methods of data collection.

Everyone I know turns on the blockers so doesn't this mean that a lot of the tracking data is, in short, garbage?

I don’t know anyone who uses as blockers or the like, but I’m in the advertising industry :)

Of course, they still collect a lot of useful demographic data, and I would suspect the number of people using tracking blockers to be less than 15%.

The folk I know are mostly technical such as engineers, programmers, and so on. Either from military or surveillience industries so I'd put the number that install or turn on the ad blockers at close to 90%.

We use the native blocker or add apps like Ublock Origin, Ghostery, Facebook Container and similar.

Facebook Container is a new one that we are discussing since that company is a data hore.

What does it do?
Facebook Container works by isolating your Facebook identity into a separate container that makes it harder for Facebook to track your visits to other websites with third-party cookies.

I, personally, do not have the same privacy concerns online that I hear so much about. I make my living trying to hustle my brand online, which means putting myself out there as much as possible. I also find targeted ads useful.

At DaniWeb, we do track the behavior of logged in members (what topics you visited, where you posted) in order to enhance the experience by showing you what content is new since your last visit, what you’re favorite forums are, and matching users with each other. This can’t be disabled because it’s all handled server side based on your user interactions. However, we don’t share any of this information nor do we store it in tracking cookies, etc. We don’t collect or store anything for users not logged in. However, just like the rest of the web, we do use Google Analytics which I suppose can be disabled via a third party plugin. We don’t collect or store any PII in google analytics though, unlike most other sites.

Back to the top, my view is that net ratings is at best a guess because there is a more than double digit number of web users that block ads. This block from what I can tell always blocks the tracking pixel systems that a lot of these companies relied on. Yes they came up with new ways to block your web use and email too but the escalation continued and given where we are now I would not put much faith in these net rating companies.

But the people and companies that live and breath this data will tell each other it's worth it and talk it up. You may tell by now I'm not buying the story or company line.

When we were going to Asia, we would always have a copy of the Tails OS when we needed to get on the web or email. No one in the company would dare log into their bank while out of the country. We practiced the safest computer use we could.

This block from what I can tell always blocks the tracking pixel systems that a lot of these companies relied on.

Many, many more people block ads and block ad tracking pixels than block analytics tracking pixels such as Google Analytics.

As a test I turned off my blocker.
Trackers Blocked: 0
Requests Modified: 0
Page Load: 1.09 secs

Then I turned it on.
Trackers Blocked: 2
Requests Modified: 2
Page Load: 0.91 secs

Seems they are right that this adds time so I think I'll leave it on for now.

That said, you can imagine other sites such as Yahoo that have dozens of trackers enabled and how much faster those sites work now.

As someone who works painlessly to shave every 10 ms where I can, I can say with confidence that the difference between 1.09 s and 0.91 s can be attributed to just routine network latency, and most likely content being cached the first run and therefore not having to be retrieved over the pipe the second run. It's not a large enough data set to draw any conclusions.

commented: This was very repeatable. On Yahoo, even more so. +16

OK, I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote this a year ago. SimilarWeb.com all the way.

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