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Web Bug Report
April 1st, 2012
The Web Bug Report documents the usage of web bugs on the internet. What are
web bugs? They are objects (images, iframes, etc.) that are imbedded on a
web site that cause part of the web page to be retrieved from a completely
different web site. In the process, this second web site gets to know
that you visited the original web site. The most common web bugs are
banner ads. Advertising agencies that have banner ads placed on a web
site know pretty much all traffic that the web site gets.
There isn't a clear answer to this question. To some people, they are. Others
don't care. The issue is the potential abuse of information: the placement
of a web bug on a page allows the "bugger" (e.g. the site hosting the banner
ad) to know your IP address, the page that you visited, and can even further
be correlated to cookie information that may be sent by your browser as part
of the request to retrieve the page.
|Are Web Bugs Bad?|
We publish two different web bug reports, each showing slightly different information.
Bugged Site Count
This report counts the number of sites that have web bugs, identifies
the domains doing the "bugging" (we'll call them "buggers"), and then
orders the buggers in the report so that the biggest offenders show
up at the top of the list.
Bugged Traffic Count
The counting of the number of sites, while useful, doesn't tell us
who is bugging the majority of the traffic on the net, only who has
bugged the most web sites. Some advertisers, however, will only
take on clients with millions of page views per month. These types of
advertisers may have relatively few sites, but because of the large
amount of traffic served by these sites, may account for a large
portion of internet traffic.
By weighing the bugged site by how authoritative it is (based on our
Referral Report), we can make a very rough
estimate of the relative amount of traffic bugged by each bugger.
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