Blog by Simon Frey

Privacy friendly website analytics also will be blocked by default

3 min read

First things first: I love the movement to use more privacy-friendly website analytics tools. More and more small startups are popping up and help you to move away from Google Analytics. And each and every website not using Google Analytics anymore is a win for the free internet

BUT Please dear privacy-friendly analytics developers: Stop telling me your tool is better because Google Analytics is getting blocked by more and more browsers/ad blockers.

This seems to be the current No.1 marketing story for these tools as I think I read the 5th blog post about this topic today. This it the TLDR for all of them: “Browser start blocking Google Analytics. Use my tool if you really want to track all users as my tool is not blocked”

In itself this statement is not per se wrong. Yes more and more browsers are blocking Google Analytics as of why the tracking will produce numbers that are off compared to the real visitor count of your website.

But the second part is what annoys me. The tracking script provided by these small new analytics tools is not blocked by browsers and ad blockers at this moment because of only one reason: The analytics tools is not widely known enough to be a big problem and to be recognized by the big ad blockers, browser and blocking list providers.

In the very second the goal of these startups works, and they get more users they will have the exact same problem with being blocked by default. And I assume these tools will be even blocked more as they do not have the same influence like google does to negotiate with the certain browser providers for certain deals.

Talking users into changing to a tool with this reasoning seems not transparent and honest to me.

Please don’t stop providing and using alternatives to google analytics, but stop catching users with false claims.


As you might see in your ad blocker I do not use Google Analytics but a self-hosted version of Matomo, an open source analytics tools which is as easy to install and use as WordPress (Jepp, both run with MariaDB and PHP)

Normally Matomo is blocked by ad blockers even in a self-hosted version as the ad blockers identify it by its query parameters. To circumvent this blocking I did build a small script which can be bought on Gumroad. With the help of this script you can run a self-hosted version of Matomo which is not blocked by ad blockers, now and forever (as long as your custom Matomo domain e.g. ‘l1am0.uber.space’ is not blocked)

So did I only write this blog post to sell you my script and undermine my credibility with this action? No! The script can be found MIT licensed on GitHub. With purchasing the support license for a few bucks you help me to keep working on it. The lifetime license is less than a single month in all other privacy-friendly analytics.

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