It can be eye-opening and frankly shocking to see how many scripts are actually running on your website. Ghostery is a browser extension that lets you do exactly this.

Here is a screenshot of the venerable website Stackoverflow. The purple box in the bottom right corner is Ghostery. We see that there are only five 3rd party trackers running. Not bad!

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Now let’s take a look at Time.com. There are 27 trackers! We don’t want to pick on Time however. Having dozens of trackers is actually extremely common!

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As a publisher, it is definitely worth installing Ghostery to see what is actually running on your site. Many of the names may be totally unrecognizable! That’s because the ad networks that you work with are also working with other ad networks, as well as analytics companies, impression verification companies and so-on. All of these players have their own tracking scripts. For added excitement, navigate to different pages of your site or just hit “refresh”. You will see that the list changes every time as different ad networks and technologies get rotated.

 

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