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Importance of tracking pixels for web analytics, advertising and SEO

A tracking pixels A tracking pixel is an HTML code snippet that is loaded whenever a user browses the website or clicks on an email. It’s useful to track users’ behaviour and conversions. With a tracking pixel advertisers can gather information for web analysis , or marketing via email. Log analysis of the file, long-data evaluation , or with the right analytical tools, the data can be utilized for various reasons, such as targeting.

What is the definition of a tracking pixels?

A tracking Pixel (also known as 1×1 pixel or pixels tag) is a visual with measurements of one pixel. It is loaded when a person is browsing a web page or opening an email. Because it’s so tiny, it is unable to be observed by people visiting websites or by email recipients. These tracking pixels are either partially or completely created to be completely transparent or concealed by their background colors of the site so that they do not appear to be noticeable for users. It is not common for users to be able to see the tracking pixel. The focus is on the processes activated by download of the tracker pixels.

The tracking Pixel URL is the memory address within the server. When a user visits an online site an image with this tag will be loaded from the server. The optical properties like visibility, or very tiny size are specified using the styling attribute.

What is a tracking pixel and how does it function?

The operator of the website or the person who sends an email inserts the tracking pixel by using an HTML code within your website’s HTML text or the body of an email. The code is an external hyperlink to the pixel server. When a user goes to the website of the destination it is processed by the HTML codes are processed by the user – typically the browser of the user. The browser opens the hyperlink and displays an (invisible) image. The graphic is registered and recorded in the log files of the server.

Furthermore, other data about the user can be transferred by this method. To a certain extent, the combination with JavaScript is essential to gather data regarding the OS or the type of browser.

The following information is available to collect and analyze using an pixel for tracking.

Operating system that is used (gives information about the use for mobile devices)
Type of email or website that is used, such as for desktop or mobile devices.
The type of client that is used like an email program or browser.
The resolution of the client’s screen
The mail was opened or the the website was the website was
Website activities during the course of a time period (when you use multiple track pixels)
IP address (gives details about the Internet Service Provider’s location and its location)

Inserting the tracking pixel

Depending on the platform that is being used, the process of installing the tracking pixel varies. Sometimes, this is done using the content management system employed, but sometimes the pixel has to be integrated directly into the code that makes up the e-mail or website.

Typically, the web analytics instruments that need the use of a pixel, like Facebook and Google Analytics, offer extensive instruction on how to implement the pixel.

Criticisms of tracking pixels

The tracking pixels are frequently criticized by advocates for data protection since they collect a wealth of information regarding the user, usually with no knowledge of the person using the data. Because the tracking pixel is unable to be seen by the naked eye, and the average user is not aware of the significance of the tiny image even when visible the tracking pixel is the transfer of data without consent. On this basis criticism, some argue that by using tracking pixels, privacy is violated by the recording of motion profiles. The transmission of an IP address permits the matching of information with other data that is available on the Internet, e.g., to a profile on forums or social networks.

Did you know? Pixel Helper can help track more than 15 ad platforms and analytic tools.

Tracking pixels can also help simplify the task of spammers. Spammers are able to incorporate tracking pixels into their spam messages to discover the validity of an email address. legitimate. If the recipient opens the mail and thus loads the tracking pixels, spammers is given an acknowledgement to the legitimacy of an email. In turn, the frequency of sending spam messages rises.

Protection of data and tracking pixels

As per GDPR, users should be aware that websites collect information. Users must also be able to refuse the data collection.

The benefits of the ability to track pixels

The usage of tracking pixels can be advantageous for webmasters as well as SEOs and email marketers. They can utilize the data collected to improve their web-based offers and improve their user-friendliness, and adjust the offer to the most popular browsers and versions.

Additionally, it is a benefit of how tracking pixels work better than caches in browsers: The page’s access is not recorded. If JavaScript is utilized, additional details can be gathered. This can include the resolution of the screen the plugins that are used, the support of specific technologies by the browser, and so on. This allows you to distinguish between users and bots, and also build user profiles. A user’s IP address, the number of visits by a particular user and the characteristics of that user may be utilized to construct routes for navigation. For web analytics the tracking pixel usually serves as the foundation. The most advanced technologies are needed and can only be implemented by specially trained service providers.

Tracking pixels can be useful in the analysis of emails sent out to subscribers since they can reveal the open rates of specific newsletters or emails through information from the user’s statistics. Along with A/B testing the most effective campaigns can be established. From the perspective of the receiver’s perspective, this offers the benefit that newsletters in the future could be made more relevant and engaging.

Countermeasures for users

There are many methods that users can avoid their information being tracked by tracking pixels

Configure your email and browser settings to be as restricting as is possible, so that external images are only permitted after permission is granted and HTML emails do not work. The appropriate firewall settings can be used to accomplish this.
Certain browser extensions can be utilized to display tracking pixels.
Anonymous browsing using the Tor Browser or the use of proxy servers to block the downloading of tracking pixels.
To stop the gathering of other personal information from users such as operating system or browser type The support for scripts within the browser can be disabled. However, this could limit other functions that are available on the internet under certain conditions.

Relevance of web analytics for SEO and advertising

The tracking pixels typically have the same capabilities to cookies. The user’s tracks are stored in a data file which is saved to the hard drive of the user. However, more and greater users are taking methods to block cookies through the functions of browsers. Cookies are often insufficient information and their use can be blocked entirely.

The tracking pixel can be utilized as an alternative to the cookie since its usage is not prevented by a standard browser. However, there are a number of browser extensions software, plugins, and applications which block tracking pixels and therefore hinder the analysis of log files are available. Tracking methods like Canvas Fingerprinting and Event Tracking or various hybrid techniques are becoming more popular and, like all models of tracking complete changes to websites are needed to be made, e.g. regarding security of data. Additionally, consent from the user to allow tracking using pixels has to be obtained.