Do ad blockers really block data to Google Analytics?

Ad-blockers have become increasingly popular in the past few years. As of 2023 data, approximately 42.7% of internet users worldwide use some form of ad-blocking software on their devices. Publishers lose substantial revenue due to ad blockers. Some estimates suggest that in 2020 alone, ad blockers caused global losses exceeding $35 billion in advertising revenue. Studies have also found that approximately 49% of millennials use ad blockers, compared to only 13% of users aged 55 and above.

How do ad blockers work?

Ad blockers initialize on the website and crawl through the code to find any instances of ad rendering snippets by matching them with the known ad server and patterns. All the matched codes are hidden and prevented from functioning.

Do ad blockers detect Google Analytics(GA4) implementation as an ad?

In addition to the advertising scripts, ad blockers, in many cases, also block the tracking scripts on the website because these scripts can collect user data and track user behavior across websites. This blocking is more about privacy protection than ad blocking. Ad blockers like uBlock Origin, Adblock Plus, and Ghostery often include filters that block Google Analytics(GA4) by default. This behavior of ad blockers can evolve. As privacy concerns grow, more users are interested in blocking trackers, which might increase the likelihood of Google Analytics(GA4) being blocked. Ad block usage in the United States and the United Kingdom has grown from 14% to 45% in the last decade, with a growth rate of 2–4% annually (sourced by Statista).

What happens to my tracking data with ad blockers in place?

The engagement data collected by Google Analytics(GA4) can be significantly impacted. The actual number of visitors may be higher than reported because a portion of the audience is not being tracked. Websites cannot gather behavioral data, including information such as how long you stay on a page, which pages you visit, your scrolling behavior, and other interactions. You could be only tracking a portion of your engagement data without even knowing about it. This is one of the main reasons many businesses see a higher count of orders in their CRM as compared to GA4.

How do I track Google Analytics data for the users who have implemented ad blockers?

There are two ways to get this data:

  1. Ask your users to disable their ad blockers politely, and hope they do.
  2. Migrate your GA4 to server-side tracking allowing Google Analytics to run on your server instead of user’s browsers eliminating the restrictions of being blocked.

What is server-side tracking and how does it help with ad blockers?

Server-side tracking allows tracking data to bypass ad blockers by shifting the tracking mechanisms from the user’s browser to the server. This means that Google Analytics, which was earlier initialized on your website, will now be shifted to the server. This does not impact your data collection negatively in any way. You will continue to receive the data normally in your Google Analytics property.

Some other benefits of server side:

  1. Reduce your website’s page load time.
  2. Prevent your user’s data from being impacted by intelligent tracking protection (ITP) systems.
  3. Your data becomes compliant with GDPR.
  4. Your data is more secure and less susceptible to bot traffic.

It is free to get started with Google Analytics server-side tracking for upto to 10,000 hits.


In today’s dynamic marketing environment, navigating the complexities of user privacy and technological advancements presents unprecedented challenges for marketers. Apple’s implementation of Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) in Safari browsers, alongside Google’s impending phase-out of third-party cookies by early 2025, signify transformative shifts in digital marketing strategies. Coupled with the widespread adoption of ad blockers among internet users, these developments underscore the urgency for businesses to reassess their tracking and analytics methodologies and evaluate migrating to the server side.

Our experts have completed over 30 successful server-side migrations. Get on a call with us to understand how we can help your business navigate these issues.

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