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3148RE: [webanalytics] Re: Behavioral differences in group that blocks 3rd party cookies?

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  • Jason Palmer
    Aug 11, 2005

      There is a very simple process that we went through in determining an accurate estimate of the traffic visiting our customers sites that were not accepting a 3rd party cookies.  We used utilized multiple methodologies in order to triangulate on an accurate estimate of the population.  By now we have looked at a sample spanning over 18 months and 10 billion visit sessions now. Using the methodology we have found some clear patterns.


      First if you look at only IP address you would see an increase that would typically start around 2% and would currently be around the 4% range.  If you look at the same dataset and now layer on the IP + Agent sessionization you will see a significant increase over the same time period.  The trend starts very close to simply tracking by IP address but separates quickly and grows to an average of 10% on the low end and 18%-19% on the upper end.  Simply tracking by IP address really no longer reflects the actual trend of the traffic rejecting 3rd party cookies.


      If you take one more step, regardless of the vendor your are using, take the total pageviews for the segment not accepting cookies, and then divide by the average pageviews per visit for your cookied traffic and you will typically find between a 1.5 and 2x increase in the number found when only using IP + Agent, these results should more accurately reflect the scope of this traffic.  In our examination of the same population we found that it validated other industry reports like Jupiters Cookie study by Eric Peterson.


      The vast majority of our customers already use a first party cookie, however over the last few months we have had hundreds of customers who are on a third party cookie make the change to 1st party cookies with dramatic results with rejection rates in the sub 1 to 4%.


      Some important things to consider:


      Are you only looking at IP addresses you may be under estimating traffic significantly


      Does your solution offer backup sessionization methods like IP + Agent


      What does the rejection rate look like if you take the pageviews of the cookieless population divided by average pageviews per cookied visitors


      How does your solution handle the cookieless traffic, do they throw out data for this traffic, campaign clickthroughs, visits, etc.  This can cause your metrics to vary significantly from other reports that you be looking at from advertising partners                               


      Jason Palmer

      VP WebTrends Products



      From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of john clinton
      Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2005 9:09 PM
      To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [webanalytics] Re: Behavioral differences in group that blocks 3rd party cookies?


      John, what's your take on 1st party cookies? My
      understanding is 1pc are blocked less than 1% and
      anti-spy ware solutions currently do not delete them.

      What do you think about WebTrends claims regarding
      user agent statistics with IP address to get a more
      accurate count? My problem with this our European
      clients do not want us storing IP address at any point
      other than a quick look up with Akamai then we dump
      them. Not to mention most visitors are surfing from
      work where they typically have one IP address and all
      the computers are running the same image in essence
      having the same user agent information and IP address.


      --- john marshall <jmarshall@...> wrote:

      > Thanks for clarifying that you do mean blocking.
      > I also should back-pedal on my statement that
      > blocking is 'rare'. It's less
      > common than deletion, but it is indeed increasing. I
      > don't mean to downplay
      > the importance of the problem of blocking.
      > John Marshall
      > > Subject: [webanalytics] Re: Behavioral differences
      > in group
      > > that blocks 3rd party cookies?
      > >
      > > Thanks for your response -
      > >
      > > I agree that, intuitively, missing 15% seems
      > problematic.
      > >
      > > What I am looking for is something beyond that,
      > however.
      > >
      > > Some data/evidence to back up or defeat the
      > assertion that
      > > ... as the sample of Internet users who do NOT
      > block 3rd
      > > party cookies (and I do mean block) diminishes ...
      > that that
      > > shrinking sample will lose its value as a source
      > of web
      > > analytics data. That, at some point, data on that
      > group's
      > > behavior cannot meaningfully or reliably be
      > extrapolated to the whole.
      > >
      > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Amer, Mike"
      > <mamer@v...> wrote:
      > > > > Blocking and rejection of third party cookies
      > is rare. Did you
      > > perhaps
      > > > > intend to ask for data on those that *delete*
      > third party
      > > cookies?
      > > > That
      > > > > is much more common.
      > > >
      > > >    Third party cookies being blocked isn't
      > exactly rare.  Eric's
      > > blog
      > > > has an entry that mentions numbers from
      > Coremetrics and WebTrends
      > > that
      > > > are both around 15%.
      > > >
      > >
      > > htm
      > > > l  If my analytics solution depended upon
      > third-party cookies to
      > > track
      > > > visitors, I would find this very troubling.
      > > >
      > > >    I suppose that with 85% of traffic being
      > reported, you can
      > > still make
      > > > directional decisions.  But if you are using web
      > analytics to power
      > > > other marketing efforts, then missing out on 15%
      > of traffic is a
      > > pretty
      > > > big deal. 
      > > >
      > > >  - Mike Amer
      > > > Victoria 's Secret
      > >

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