Third-party trackers cost users an average of 10 extra seconds per page load time; internet users can double their browsing speed by simply blocking tracking scripts
New York, NY – May 1, 2018 – A new study published today by Ghostery, a free browser extension that makes your web browsing experience cleaner, faster and safer, and its parent company Cliqz, reveals that in addition to alarming privacy implications, today’s widespread practice of tracking every single user’s online behavior has a huge impact on web performance. Looking at the top 500 websites in the United States as determined by Alexa, the 2018 Tracker Tax Report measured the impact of trackers on website performance for the typical internet user. The study found that on average, trackers make websites load twice as slow compared to when trackers are blocked. With 90 percent of page loads containing third-party trackers, there’s a clear correlation that’s costing users time.
Third-party scripts cost you an average of 10 seconds each time you load a webpage
Third-party trackers on websites – like Google, Facebook, Comscore and Twitter trackers, among others – are constantly scraping personal information, from political views to shopping habits to health and sexual orientation. What many consumers don’t realize is that in addition to privacy implications, trackers adversely affect website performance, something called the “tracker tax,” the measurable impact of tracker volume on page load times. The study found that each tracker on a webpage costs you a half-second. Websites can have over a hundred trackers, which adds up to minutes of productivity lost. By blocking third-party scripts, users can avoid this “tax” and save an average of 10 seconds per page load, while doubling their browsing speed.
“Tech companies, big and small, will never curtail their data collection practices,” said Jeremy Tillman, Director of Product at Ghostery. “Most have a business model that incentivizes them to harvest huge amounts of personal information, resulting in not only a breach of user privacy, but also unintended consequences such as dramatically slower websites. That’s where the role of consumer empowerment comes into play. Users need to proactively fight back against this attack on their browsing experience by using privacy tools and ad blockers as weapons to block trackers, reduce clutter and double website speeds.”
Additional highlights from Ghostery’s 2018 Tracker Tax Report include:
For more information, please visit https://www.ghostery.com/lp/trackertax/.
The study was conducted by Ghostery and its parent company Cliqz and is based on data generated using a custom-built web crawler to collect the number of trackers and page load times for the top 500 websites in the United States, as determined by Alexa. The crawler was built with Selenium running Chrome on the desktop environment, making GET requests from a server based in New York City. For each website, the crawler used the Ghostery browser extension to collect the count of third-party trackers detected and the seconds to load that page.
Diffusion PR for Ghostery