I recently installed Ghostery and am amazed by the number of JavaScript libraries being loaded on the sites I visit. Almost every site I visit has at least one analytics library, a few advertising libraries, and some social network sharing libraries.

To be a bit more quantitative, I pulled the libraries used by 20 of top sites to see if anything stood out. The biggest surprise was how differently the various types of sites used these libraries. Every single publisher used DoubleClick and yet only a quarter of them used Google Analytics while 80% of the social networks I looked at used Google Analytics and only 40% used DoubleClick. The other interesting piece was how many more libraries an average publisher uses compared to a social network or ecommerce site. Five of the 13 publishers I looked at included at least 20 JavaScript libraries while the most libraries included by a social network was 4, which was Pinterest. The bulk of these additional libraries tend to be advertising specific so it’s not that surprising that publishers have more of them but the difference in volume was shocking. I’ve included the data at the bottom of this post in case someone wants to take a stab at it but something on my todo list is to automate the process of gathering this info rather than relying on Ghostery and copy and paste. Once I get get it done I’ll follow up with another post analyzing the larger set of data.

Even if these libraries get cached in the browser it’s still quite a lot of JavaScript that’s executed every time a site is loaded. It’s insane that Forbes is loading 39 libraries every time a page is seen. I suspect most people use AdBlock not because of ads but because of the degraded performance of a site having to load these libraries and the associated images. I’m aware that publishers are in trouble but I don’t think adding more and more libraries to eke out additional revenue is a sustainable model.

# of Libraries by Site

Site Site Type # of Libraries
Forbes Publisher 39
BBC Publisher 33
The Guardian Publisher 25
Washington Post Publisher 24
DailyKos Publisher 23
NY Times Publisher 19
USA Today Publisher 18
Huff Po Publisher 17
ABC Publisher 15
Fox News Publisher 15
Amazon E Commerce 12
CNN Publisher 10
ESPN Publisher 9
Ebay E Commerce 8
Yahoo Publisher 6
Pinterest Social Network 4
Facebook Social Network 3
Tumblr Social Network 3
Reddit Social Network 2
Twitter Social Network 1

# of Sites by Library

Library # of Sites
DoubleClick 17
ScoreCard Research Beacon 14
Google Adsense 10
ChartBeat 8
NetRatings SiteCensus 8
Facebook Connect 8
Quantcast 8
Google Analytics 7
Datalogix 7
Right Media 7
Omniture (Adobe Analytics) 6
AppNexus 6
Moat 6
Audience Science 6
Evidon Notice 5
MediaMath 5
TrackingSoft 5
Adobe Test & Target 4
Visual Revenue 4
Aggregate Knowledge 4
Acxiom 4
Google AdWords Conversion 3
AdRoll 3
Criteo 3
DoubleClick Spotlight 3
Facebook Social Plugins 3
Twitter Button 3
Outbrain 3
Quigo AdSonar 3
Atlas 3
Rubicon 3
Advertising.com 3
Krux Digital 3
BrightRoll 3
eXelate 3
BuzzFeed 2
Optimizely 2
Typekit by Adobe 2
AdXpose 2
Casale Media 2
Media Optimizer (Adobe) 2
VoiceFive 2
AdMeld 2
Amazon Associates 2
Facebook Exchange (FBX) 2
OpenX 2
PubMatic 2
TRUSTe Notice 2
Facebook Social Graph 2
MediaMind 2
[x+1] 2
BlueKai 2
Brilig 2
Media Innovation Group 2
Neustar AdAdvisor 2
SpotXchange 2
24/7 Media Ad Network 2
Dynamic Logic 1
Gravity Insights 1
Crazy Egg 1
DoubleClick Floodlight 1
FreeWheel 1
Gigya Socialize 1
MixPanel 1
Specific Media 1
Twitter Badge 1
ValueClick Mediaplex 1
Janrain 1
Parse.ly 1
Yahoo Analytics 1
Burst Media 1
PulsePoint 1
eBay Stats 1
Genome 1
Google +1 1
DoubleClick DART 1
Adzerk 1
Effective Measure 1
Mindset Media 1
Rocket Fuel 1
Brightcove 1
New York Times 1
WebTrends 1
ForeSee 1
Google AJAX Search API 1
Integral Ad Science 1
Media6Degrees 1
Adap.tv 1
AddThis 1
AMP Platform 1
DoubleClick Bid Manager 1
i-Behavior 1
Intent Media 1
Lotame 1
Martini Media 1
Media.net 1
Tacoda 1
Tapad 1
TidalTV 1
TradeDesk 1
Turn 1
Undertone 1
SimpleReach 1
Tealium 1
Bizo 1
New Relic 1
Trove 1

Avg # of Libraries by Site Type

Site Type # of Sites Avg # Libraries
Publisher 13 19.46
Social Network 5 2.60
E Commerce 2 10.00

Raw Data

Site Library Site Type
ESPN Adobe Test & Target Publisher
ESPN ChartBeat Publisher
ESPN DoubleClick Publisher
ESPN Dynamic Logic Publisher
ESPN Evidon Notice Publisher
ESPN Google Adsense Publisher
ESPN Gravity Insights Publisher
ESPN NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
ESPN ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
ABC BuzzFeed Publisher
ABC ChartBeat Publisher
ABC Crazy Egg Publisher
ABC DoubleClick Publisher
ABC DoubleClick Floodlight Publisher
ABC Facebook Connect Publisher
ABC FreeWheel Publisher
ABC Gigya Socialize Publisher
ABC Google AdWords Conversion Publisher
ABC NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
ABC Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
ABC Optimizely Publisher
ABC Quantcast Publisher
ABC ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
ABC Typekit by Adobe Publisher
DailyKos AdRoll Publisher
DailyKos AdXpose Publisher
DailyKos AppNexus Publisher
DailyKos Casale Media Publisher
DailyKos ChartBeat Publisher
DailyKos Criteo Publisher
DailyKos DoubleClick Publisher
DailyKos DoubleClick Spotlight Publisher
DailyKos Evidon Notice Publisher
DailyKos Facebook Connect Publisher
DailyKos Facebook Social Plugins Publisher
DailyKos Google Adsense Publisher
DailyKos Google AdWords Conversion Publisher
DailyKos Google Analytics Publisher
DailyKos MediaMath Publisher
DailyKos MixPanel Publisher
DailyKos Quantcast Publisher
DailyKos ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
DailyKos Specific Media Publisher
DailyKos TrackingSoft Publisher
DailyKos Twitter Badge Publisher
DailyKos Twitter Button Publisher
DailyKos ValueClick Mediaplex Publisher
Fox News Adobe Test & Target Publisher
Fox News AdRoll Publisher
Fox News DoubleClick Publisher
Fox News Evidon Notice Publisher
Fox News Google Adsense Publisher
Fox News Janrain Publisher
Fox News Media Optimizer (Adobe) Publisher
Fox News Moat Publisher
Fox News NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
Fox News Outbrain Publisher
Fox News Parse.ly Publisher
Fox News Quigo AdSonar Publisher
Fox News ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Fox News TrackingSoft Publisher
Fox News Visual Revenue Publisher
Facebook Aggregate Knowledge Social Network
Facebook Atlas Social Network
Facebook DoubleClick Social Network
Twitter Google Analytics Social Network
Yahoo Datalogix Publisher
Yahoo DoubleClick Publisher
Yahoo Right Media Publisher
Yahoo ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Yahoo VoiceFive Publisher
Yahoo Yahoo Analytics Publisher
Amazon AdMeld E Commerce
Amazon Amazon Associates E Commerce
Amazon AppNexus E Commerce
Amazon Burst Media E Commerce
Amazon DoubleClick E Commerce
Amazon Facebook Exchange (FBX) E Commerce
Amazon Google Adsense E Commerce
Amazon OpenX E Commerce
Amazon PubMatic E Commerce
Amazon PulsePoint E Commerce
Amazon Right Media E Commerce
Amazon Rubicon E Commerce
Ebay Aggregate Knowledge E Commerce
Ebay Datalogix E Commerce
Ebay DoubleClick E Commerce
Ebay eBay Stats E Commerce
Ebay Genome E Commerce
Ebay MediaMath E Commerce
Ebay Right Media E Commerce
Ebay TRUSTe Notice E Commerce
Tumblr Google Analytics Social Network
Tumblr Quantcast Social Network
Tumblr ScoreCard Research Beacon Social Network
Pinterest DoubleClick Social Network
Pinterest Facebook Connect Social Network
Pinterest Facebook Social Graph Social Network
Pinterest Google Analytics Social Network
Huff Po Adobe Test & Target Publisher
Huff Po ADTECH Publisher
Huff Po Advertising.com Publisher
Huff Po DoubleClick Publisher
Huff Po Facebook Connect Publisher
Huff Po Facebook Social Plugins Publisher
Huff Po Google +1 Publisher
Huff Po Google Analytics Publisher
Huff Po MediaMind Publisher
Huff Po Moat Publisher
Huff Po NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
Huff Po Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
Huff Po Quantcast Publisher
Huff Po Quigo AdSonar Publisher
Huff Po ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Huff Po TrackingSoft Publisher
Huff Po Twitter Button Publisher
CNN ChartBeat Publisher
CNN DoubleClick Publisher
CNN DoubleClick DART Publisher
CNN Facebook Connect Publisher
CNN Facebook Social Plugins Publisher
CNN Krux Digital Publisher
CNN NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
CNN ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
CNN Twitter Button Publisher
CNN Visual Revenue Publisher
Reddit Adzerk Social Network
Reddit Google Analytics Social Network
BBC [x+1] Publisher
BBC Acxiom Publisher
BBC AdMeld Publisher
BBC Advertising.com Publisher
BBC AdXpose Publisher
BBC Aggregate Knowledge Publisher
BBC AppNexus Publisher
BBC Atlas Publisher
BBC Audience Science Publisher
BBC BlueKai Publisher
BBC BrightRoll Publisher
BBC Brilig Publisher
BBC Casale Media Publisher
BBC Datalogix Publisher
BBC DoubleClick Publisher
BBC DoubleClick Spotlight Publisher
BBC Effective Measure Publisher
BBC Facebook Exchange (FBX) Publisher
BBC Google Adsense Publisher
BBC Media Innovation Group Publisher
BBC MediaMath Publisher
BBC Mindset Media Publisher
BBC NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
BBC Neustar AdAdvisor Publisher
BBC Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
BBC OpenX Publisher
BBC PubMatic Publisher
BBC Right Media Publisher
BBC Rocket Fuel Publisher
BBC Rubicon Publisher
BBC ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
BBC SpotXchange Publisher
BBC TrackingSoft Publisher
NY Times Acxiom Publisher
NY Times AppNexus Publisher
NY Times Atlas Publisher
NY Times Audience Science Publisher
NY Times Brightcove Publisher
NY Times ChartBeat Publisher
NY Times Datalogix Publisher
NY Times DoubleClick Publisher
NY Times eXelate Publisher
NY Times Facebook Connect Publisher
NY Times Google Adsense Publisher
NY Times Krux Digital Publisher
NY Times Moat Publisher
NY Times NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
NY Times New York Times Publisher
NY Times ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
NY Times Typekit by Adobe Publisher
NY Times VoiceFive Publisher
NY Times WebTrends Publisher
The Guardian 24/7 Media Ad Network Publisher
The Guardian AppNexus Publisher
The Guardian Audience Science Publisher
The Guardian BrightRoll Publisher
The Guardian ChartBeat Publisher
The Guardian Criteo Publisher
The Guardian DoubleClick Publisher
The Guardian Evidon Notice Publisher
The Guardian Facebook Connect Publisher
The Guardian Facebook Social Graph Publisher
The Guardian ForeSee Publisher
The Guardian Google Adsense Publisher
The Guardian Google AdWords Conversion Publisher
The Guardian Google AJAX Search API Publisher
The Guardian Integral Ad Science Publisher
The Guardian Media6Degrees Publisher
The Guardian MediaMath Publisher
The Guardian NetRatings SiteCensus Publisher
The Guardian Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
The Guardian Optimizely Publisher
The Guardian Outbrain Publisher
The Guardian Quantcast Publisher
The Guardian Right Media Publisher
The Guardian Rubicon Publisher
The Guardian ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Forbes 24/7 Media Ad Network Publisher
Forbes [x+1] Publisher
Forbes Acxiom Publisher
Forbes Adap.tv Publisher
Forbes AddThis Publisher
Forbes Advertising.com Publisher
Forbes Aggregate Knowledge Publisher
Forbes AMP Platform Publisher
Forbes AppNexus Publisher
Forbes Audience Science Publisher
Forbes BlueKai Publisher
Forbes BrightRoll Publisher
Forbes Brilig Publisher
Forbes Datalogix Publisher
Forbes DoubleClick Publisher
Forbes DoubleClick Bid Manager Publisher
Forbes DoubleClick Spotlight Publisher
Forbes eXelate Publisher
Forbes Google Adsense Publisher
Forbes Google Analytics Publisher
Forbes i-Behavior Publisher
Forbes Intent Media Publisher
Forbes Lotame Publisher
Forbes Martini Media Publisher
Forbes Media Innovation Group Publisher
Forbes Media.net Publisher
Forbes Moat Publisher
Forbes Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
Forbes Quantcast Publisher
Forbes Right Media Publisher
Forbes ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Forbes Tacoda Publisher
Forbes Tapad Publisher
Forbes TidalTV Publisher
Forbes TradeDesk Publisher
Forbes TRUSTe Notice Publisher
Forbes Turn Publisher
Forbes Undertone Publisher
Forbes Visual Revenue Publisher
USA Today AdRoll Publisher
USA Today Audience Science Publisher
USA Today BuzzFeed Publisher
USA Today ChartBeat Publisher
USA Today Datalogix Publisher
USA Today DoubleClick Publisher
USA Today Evidon Notice Publisher
USA Today Facebook Connect Publisher
USA Today Google Adsense Publisher
USA Today Media Optimizer (Adobe) Publisher
USA Today Moat Publisher
USA Today Quantcast Publisher
USA Today Right Media Publisher
USA Today ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
USA Today SimpleReach Publisher
USA Today Tealium Publisher
USA Today TrackingSoft Publisher
USA Today Visual Revenue Publisher
Washington Post Acxiom Publisher
Washington Post Adobe Test & Target Publisher
Washington Post Amazon Associates Publisher
Washington Post Audience Science Publisher
Washington Post Bizo Publisher
Washington Post ChartBeat Publisher
Washington Post Criteo Publisher
Washington Post Datalogix Publisher
Washington Post DoubleClick Publisher
Washington Post eXelate Publisher
Washington Post Google Adsense Publisher
Washington Post Krux Digital Publisher
Washington Post MediaMath Publisher
Washington Post MediaMind Publisher
Washington Post Moat Publisher
Washington Post Neustar AdAdvisor Publisher
Washington Post New Relic Publisher
Washington Post Omniture (Adobe Analytics) Publisher
Washington Post Outbrain Publisher
Washington Post Quantcast Publisher
Washington Post Quigo AdSonar Publisher
Washington Post ScoreCard Research Beacon Publisher
Washington Post SpotXchange Publisher
Washington Post Trove Publisher

You can also grab the entire set of data here.

Read more!