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

SiteSite Type# of Libraries
ForbesPublisher39
BBCPublisher33
The GuardianPublisher25
Washington PostPublisher24
DailyKosPublisher23
NY TimesPublisher19
USA TodayPublisher18
Huff PoPublisher17
ABCPublisher15
Fox NewsPublisher15
AmazonE Commerce12
CNNPublisher10
ESPNPublisher9
EbayE Commerce8
YahooPublisher6
PinterestSocial Network4
FacebookSocial Network3
TumblrSocial Network3
RedditSocial Network2
TwitterSocial Network1

# of Sites by Library

Library# of Sites
DoubleClick17
ScoreCard Research Beacon14
Google Adsense10
ChartBeat8
NetRatings SiteCensus8
Facebook Connect8
Quantcast8
Google Analytics7
Datalogix7
Right Media7
Omniture (Adobe Analytics)6
AppNexus6
Moat6
Audience Science6
Evidon Notice5
MediaMath5
TrackingSoft5
Adobe Test & Target4
Visual Revenue4
Aggregate Knowledge4
Acxiom4
Google AdWords Conversion3
AdRoll3
Criteo3
DoubleClick Spotlight3
Facebook Social Plugins3
Twitter Button3
Outbrain3
Quigo AdSonar3
Atlas3
Rubicon3
Advertising.com3
Krux Digital3
BrightRoll3
eXelate3
BuzzFeed2
Optimizely2
Typekit by Adobe2
AdXpose2
Casale Media2
Media Optimizer (Adobe)2
VoiceFive2
AdMeld2
Amazon Associates2
Facebook Exchange (FBX)2
OpenX2
PubMatic2
TRUSTe Notice2
Facebook Social Graph2
MediaMind2
[x+1]2
BlueKai2
Brilig2
Media Innovation Group2
Neustar AdAdvisor2
SpotXchange2
24/7 Media Ad Network2
Dynamic Logic1
Gravity Insights1
Crazy Egg1
DoubleClick Floodlight1
FreeWheel1
Gigya Socialize1
MixPanel1
Specific Media1
Twitter Badge1
ValueClick Mediaplex1
Janrain1
Parse.ly1
Yahoo Analytics1
Burst Media1
PulsePoint1
eBay Stats1
Genome1
ADTECH1
Google +11
DoubleClick DART1
Adzerk1
Effective Measure1
Mindset Media1
Rocket Fuel1
Brightcove1
New York Times1
WebTrends1
ForeSee1
Google AJAX Search API1
Integral Ad Science1
Media6Degrees1
Adap.tv1
AddThis1
AMP Platform1
DoubleClick Bid Manager1
i-Behavior1
Intent Media1
Lotame1
Martini Media1
Media.net1
Tacoda1
Tapad1
TidalTV1
TradeDesk1
Turn1
Undertone1
SimpleReach1
Tealium1
Bizo1
New Relic1
Trove1

Avg # of Libraries by Site Type

Site Type# of SitesAvg # Libraries
Publisher1319.46
Social Network52.60
E Commerce210.00

Raw Data

SiteLibrarySite Type
ESPNAdobe Test & TargetPublisher
ESPNChartBeatPublisher
ESPNDoubleClickPublisher
ESPNDynamic LogicPublisher
ESPNEvidon NoticePublisher
ESPNGoogle AdsensePublisher
ESPNGravity InsightsPublisher
ESPNNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
ESPNScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
ABCBuzzFeedPublisher
ABCChartBeatPublisher
ABCCrazy EggPublisher
ABCDoubleClickPublisher
ABCDoubleClick FloodlightPublisher
ABCFacebook ConnectPublisher
ABCFreeWheelPublisher
ABCGigya SocializePublisher
ABCGoogle AdWords ConversionPublisher
ABCNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
ABCOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
ABCOptimizelyPublisher
ABCQuantcastPublisher
ABCScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
ABCTypekit by AdobePublisher
DailyKosAdRollPublisher
DailyKosAdXposePublisher
DailyKosAppNexusPublisher
DailyKosCasale MediaPublisher
DailyKosChartBeatPublisher
DailyKosCriteoPublisher
DailyKosDoubleClickPublisher
DailyKosDoubleClick SpotlightPublisher
DailyKosEvidon NoticePublisher
DailyKosFacebook ConnectPublisher
DailyKosFacebook Social PluginsPublisher
DailyKosGoogle AdsensePublisher
DailyKosGoogle AdWords ConversionPublisher
DailyKosGoogle AnalyticsPublisher
DailyKosMediaMathPublisher
DailyKosMixPanelPublisher
DailyKosQuantcastPublisher
DailyKosScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
DailyKosSpecific MediaPublisher
DailyKosTrackingSoftPublisher
DailyKosTwitter BadgePublisher
DailyKosTwitter ButtonPublisher
DailyKosValueClick MediaplexPublisher
Fox NewsAdobe Test & TargetPublisher
Fox NewsAdRollPublisher
Fox NewsDoubleClickPublisher
Fox NewsEvidon NoticePublisher
Fox NewsGoogle AdsensePublisher
Fox NewsJanrainPublisher
Fox NewsMedia Optimizer (Adobe)Publisher
Fox NewsMoatPublisher
Fox NewsNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
Fox NewsOutbrainPublisher
Fox NewsParse.lyPublisher
Fox NewsQuigo AdSonarPublisher
Fox NewsScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
Fox NewsTrackingSoftPublisher
Fox NewsVisual RevenuePublisher
FacebookAggregate KnowledgeSocial Network
FacebookAtlasSocial Network
FacebookDoubleClickSocial Network
TwitterGoogle AnalyticsSocial Network
YahooDatalogixPublisher
YahooDoubleClickPublisher
YahooRight MediaPublisher
YahooScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
YahooVoiceFivePublisher
YahooYahoo AnalyticsPublisher
AmazonAdMeldE Commerce
AmazonAmazon AssociatesE Commerce
AmazonAppNexusE Commerce
AmazonBurst MediaE Commerce
AmazonDoubleClickE Commerce
AmazonFacebook Exchange (FBX)E Commerce
AmazonGoogle AdsenseE Commerce
AmazonOpenXE Commerce
AmazonPubMaticE Commerce
AmazonPulsePointE Commerce
AmazonRight MediaE Commerce
AmazonRubiconE Commerce
EbayAggregate KnowledgeE Commerce
EbayDatalogixE Commerce
EbayDoubleClickE Commerce
EbayeBay StatsE Commerce
EbayGenomeE Commerce
EbayMediaMathE Commerce
EbayRight MediaE Commerce
EbayTRUSTe NoticeE Commerce
TumblrGoogle AnalyticsSocial Network
TumblrQuantcastSocial Network
TumblrScoreCard Research BeaconSocial Network
PinterestDoubleClickSocial Network
PinterestFacebook ConnectSocial Network
PinterestFacebook Social GraphSocial Network
PinterestGoogle AnalyticsSocial Network
Huff PoAdobe Test & TargetPublisher
Huff PoADTECHPublisher
Huff PoAdvertising.comPublisher
Huff PoDoubleClickPublisher
Huff PoFacebook ConnectPublisher
Huff PoFacebook Social PluginsPublisher
Huff PoGoogle +1Publisher
Huff PoGoogle AnalyticsPublisher
Huff PoMediaMindPublisher
Huff PoMoatPublisher
Huff PoNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
Huff PoOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
Huff PoQuantcastPublisher
Huff PoQuigo AdSonarPublisher
Huff PoScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
Huff PoTrackingSoftPublisher
Huff PoTwitter ButtonPublisher
CNNChartBeatPublisher
CNNDoubleClickPublisher
CNNDoubleClick DARTPublisher
CNNFacebook ConnectPublisher
CNNFacebook Social PluginsPublisher
CNNKrux DigitalPublisher
CNNNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
CNNScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
CNNTwitter ButtonPublisher
CNNVisual RevenuePublisher
RedditAdzerkSocial Network
RedditGoogle AnalyticsSocial Network
BBC[x+1]Publisher
BBCAcxiomPublisher
BBCAdMeldPublisher
BBCAdvertising.comPublisher
BBCAdXposePublisher
BBCAggregate KnowledgePublisher
BBCAppNexusPublisher
BBCAtlasPublisher
BBCAudience SciencePublisher
BBCBlueKaiPublisher
BBCBrightRollPublisher
BBCBriligPublisher
BBCCasale MediaPublisher
BBCDatalogixPublisher
BBCDoubleClickPublisher
BBCDoubleClick SpotlightPublisher
BBCEffective MeasurePublisher
BBCFacebook Exchange (FBX)Publisher
BBCGoogle AdsensePublisher
BBCMedia Innovation GroupPublisher
BBCMediaMathPublisher
BBCMindset MediaPublisher
BBCNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
BBCNeustar AdAdvisorPublisher
BBCOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
BBCOpenXPublisher
BBCPubMaticPublisher
BBCRight MediaPublisher
BBCRocket FuelPublisher
BBCRubiconPublisher
BBCScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
BBCSpotXchangePublisher
BBCTrackingSoftPublisher
NY TimesAcxiomPublisher
NY TimesAppNexusPublisher
NY TimesAtlasPublisher
NY TimesAudience SciencePublisher
NY TimesBrightcovePublisher
NY TimesChartBeatPublisher
NY TimesDatalogixPublisher
NY TimesDoubleClickPublisher
NY TimeseXelatePublisher
NY TimesFacebook ConnectPublisher
NY TimesGoogle AdsensePublisher
NY TimesKrux DigitalPublisher
NY TimesMoatPublisher
NY TimesNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
NY TimesNew York TimesPublisher
NY TimesScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
NY TimesTypekit by AdobePublisher
NY TimesVoiceFivePublisher
NY TimesWebTrendsPublisher
The Guardian24/7 Media Ad NetworkPublisher
The GuardianAppNexusPublisher
The GuardianAudience SciencePublisher
The GuardianBrightRollPublisher
The GuardianChartBeatPublisher
The GuardianCriteoPublisher
The GuardianDoubleClickPublisher
The GuardianEvidon NoticePublisher
The GuardianFacebook ConnectPublisher
The GuardianFacebook Social GraphPublisher
The GuardianForeSeePublisher
The GuardianGoogle AdsensePublisher
The GuardianGoogle AdWords ConversionPublisher
The GuardianGoogle AJAX Search APIPublisher
The GuardianIntegral Ad SciencePublisher
The GuardianMedia6DegreesPublisher
The GuardianMediaMathPublisher
The GuardianNetRatings SiteCensusPublisher
The GuardianOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
The GuardianOptimizelyPublisher
The GuardianOutbrainPublisher
The GuardianQuantcastPublisher
The GuardianRight MediaPublisher
The GuardianRubiconPublisher
The GuardianScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
Forbes24/7 Media Ad NetworkPublisher
Forbes[x+1]Publisher
ForbesAcxiomPublisher
ForbesAdap.tvPublisher
ForbesAddThisPublisher
ForbesAdvertising.comPublisher
ForbesAggregate KnowledgePublisher
ForbesAMP PlatformPublisher
ForbesAppNexusPublisher
ForbesAudience SciencePublisher
ForbesBlueKaiPublisher
ForbesBrightRollPublisher
ForbesBriligPublisher
ForbesDatalogixPublisher
ForbesDoubleClickPublisher
ForbesDoubleClick Bid ManagerPublisher
ForbesDoubleClick SpotlightPublisher
ForbeseXelatePublisher
ForbesGoogle AdsensePublisher
ForbesGoogle AnalyticsPublisher
Forbesi-BehaviorPublisher
ForbesIntent MediaPublisher
ForbesLotamePublisher
ForbesMartini MediaPublisher
ForbesMedia Innovation GroupPublisher
ForbesMedia.netPublisher
ForbesMoatPublisher
ForbesOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
ForbesQuantcastPublisher
ForbesRight MediaPublisher
ForbesScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
ForbesTacodaPublisher
ForbesTapadPublisher
ForbesTidalTVPublisher
ForbesTradeDeskPublisher
ForbesTRUSTe NoticePublisher
ForbesTurnPublisher
ForbesUndertonePublisher
ForbesVisual RevenuePublisher
USA TodayAdRollPublisher
USA TodayAudience SciencePublisher
USA TodayBuzzFeedPublisher
USA TodayChartBeatPublisher
USA TodayDatalogixPublisher
USA TodayDoubleClickPublisher
USA TodayEvidon NoticePublisher
USA TodayFacebook ConnectPublisher
USA TodayGoogle AdsensePublisher
USA TodayMedia Optimizer (Adobe)Publisher
USA TodayMoatPublisher
USA TodayQuantcastPublisher
USA TodayRight MediaPublisher
USA TodayScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
USA TodaySimpleReachPublisher
USA TodayTealiumPublisher
USA TodayTrackingSoftPublisher
USA TodayVisual RevenuePublisher
Washington PostAcxiomPublisher
Washington PostAdobe Test & TargetPublisher
Washington PostAmazon AssociatesPublisher
Washington PostAudience SciencePublisher
Washington PostBizoPublisher
Washington PostChartBeatPublisher
Washington PostCriteoPublisher
Washington PostDatalogixPublisher
Washington PostDoubleClickPublisher
Washington PosteXelatePublisher
Washington PostGoogle AdsensePublisher
Washington PostKrux DigitalPublisher
Washington PostMediaMathPublisher
Washington PostMediaMindPublisher
Washington PostMoatPublisher
Washington PostNeustar AdAdvisorPublisher
Washington PostNew RelicPublisher
Washington PostOmniture (Adobe Analytics)Publisher
Washington PostOutbrainPublisher
Washington PostQuantcastPublisher
Washington PostQuigo AdSonarPublisher
Washington PostScoreCard Research BeaconPublisher
Washington PostSpotXchangePublisher
Washington PostTrovePublisher

You can also grab the entire set of data here.


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