The Countries Contributing Most To Ad-Tracker Increases This Year

Data suggests the share of ad-tracking requests in user traffic worldwide rose to 7.40% in December — up from 7.40% in February.

AdGuard’s report — which tracks the share of ad-tracking requests — aggregates more than 200 countries, to analyze current trends, and reveals how many requests that browsers or apps made to external web servers when someone visits a domain. The requests follow opens and clicks across the web to serve ads.

The United States and Canada experienced a decrease in ad-tracker use, falling below the global average. The U.S. dropped from 7.2% to 6.4% from February to December, respectively.

Ad tracking only accounts for about 7% of all web traffic, but has a major effect on performance, according to AdGuard.

When ad domains are loaded by a browser or an app, it can start a chain of requests to other ad servers. Many more ad domains are loaded behind the scenes, without showing up in the data.



AdGuard calls these “hidden ads.” In previous reports, the company tried to estimate the number of these domains by browsing several popular news sites with and without an ad blocker. Without an ad blocker, three times more ad tracking requests surfaced. The “extra” requests came from “hidden” ad domains.

AdGuard calculates this to mean that ad-tracking requests actually make up about 20% of traffic — and most of them are “hidden” and depend on other ad domains that load.

The significant increase — which offset declines in the United States, Canada and other countries — in this year’s AdGuard report mainly came from Iran and India. Uzbekistan’s use jumped the most, from 8.80% to 11.44%.

These Asian countries saw a significant increase in ad-tracker usage, while Indonesia, Malaysia and China saw a substantial decrease. India and Iran rose the most, crossing the 11% threshold.

This is not surprising because of GDPR rulings, European countries including Spain, Germany, and Italy also fell in ad-tracker percentages: Spain from 7.80% to 7.20%; Germany from 7.56% to 6.83%, and Italy from 7.21% to 6,71%. Portugal is the only country in Europe that remained about the same -- 7.00% to 6.94%.

Latin America saw mixed results. Colombians were exposed to fewer ad trackers on average — from 7.28% to 6.78% — while Argentina fell from 6.36% to 5.55%.

Puerto Rico had the largest decrease, with a 1.52% difference in the share of ad trackers in their traffic during the last 10 months. Brazil maintained the status quo, as its share of ad trackers continued to hover around the 6.6% to 6.7%, just as it was in February 2023.

Cuba emerged as the only outlier, as the share of ads and trackers in the country jumped from 7.20% to 9.62% — an increase of 2.42%.

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