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Do Your Website Users Block Google Analytics?

Executive Summary: Yes, they do.

This article explains how Users block tracking, and describes how to see the traffic from these Users.

Users block tracking because:

  • Google Analytics tracking is easy to block
  • Most Users Don’t Want to Be Tracked

This isn’t just a problem for external websites: it affects websites and web-based applications in your entire organization.

One of our clients recently discovered 25% of their employees block tracking on corporate Intranet websites.

How Do Users Block Google Analytics?

Many current web browsers have default settings that block tracking. Also, add-on tools that block tracking have become more common.

These tools include:

1) Browser Extensions

The “Ad Block” and “No Script” browser extensions don’t just block ads. They block whatever they match…like the Google Analytics tracking request or JavaScript file.

Most of these extensions also have the option to subscribe to Filter Lists, which provide focused blocking for topics like “privacy” or “annoying ads.”

These Filter Lists update frequently, which keep blocking rules up-to-date as new products emerge and as match patterns change.

2) Developer Tools Rules

Open your favorite web browser and press F12 on your keyboard – this opens the browser’s developer tools console.

When a Page loads, the Network tab in the dev tools console shows you details about all content contained in the Page. Your browser makes a separate request for each content item.

If you right click on any of the content items, you can create a blocking rule for a specific item OR enter a pattern that matches the item on all websites.

3) Other Solutions

This section could be an article all by itself, so we’ll only mention one solution: Pi-hole.

A Pi-hole is a device that examines DNS requests and blocks unwanted tracking for any device on your network. This also affects non-browsers like smart appliances (TVs, fridges, etc.) and phone apps.

Requests can be blocked based on hostnames, IP addresses, or other customizable rules. A single rule blocks Google Analytics tracking for every device on your network.

A Pi-hole also lets you block OS & application telemetry streams (e.g. Microsoft).

What Percentage of Users Block Google Analytics Tracking?

There isn’t a single answer to this question – it depends on the audience for your website.

Historically, blocked tracking was only a problem for tech-focused websites with tech-savvy users.

But since 2020 or so, tools and browsers that block tracking have become more common.

The best way to figure out the percentage of Users that block tracking on your website is to do the measurement yourself!

How Can You See Users That Block Google Analytics Tracking?

Our product – Angelfish Software – shows Users that block tracking.

Here’s how this works:

  • add a snippet to your GA4 code block
  • each time a pageview request is sent to GA, the snippet requests a local file
  • Angelfish looks for this file when processing data
  • Users that block tracking won’t have a request for the file

Once you have this data you can analyze it in Angelfish, export it to a reporting dashboard, or upload it to GA via the Measurement Protocol.

Angelfish is a self-hosted web analytics software tool which gets its data from web server access logs. Users can’t block themselves from appearing in the access logs.

You can re-use your existing Google Analytics Campaign tags in Angelfish. This shows you Users with Campaign tags who block GA tracking!

Next Steps

If you’d like to discover how blocked tracking affects your organization’s websites, please Contact Us.

Learn more about Angelfish: Angelfish Overview