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Bots: Disabling ads or tracking

Ad Commander offers the ability to hide ads or disable tracking for suspected bot traffic. There are important things to consider before enabling either setting.

Misidentification of bots

Ad Commander detects bots with known user-agents. Ad Commander can’t identify every bot, because many will use an unknown user agent. In these cases, bots would end up still seeing ads and potentially being tracked regardless of this setting.

Additionally, it’s possible a real person could be identified as a bot. Firewalls, browser extensions, network settings, and more could cause a real visitor to appear as a bot.

Many bots already won’t be tracked

Local and Google Analytics tracking in Ad Commander are both executed using JavaScript. Many bots won’t execute JavaScript and therefore won’t be tracked. The “disable tracking for bots” setting adds an extra layer of bot detection, but often is not necessary.

Page caching and rendering options

If you are using page caching along with server-side rendering, disabling ads for bots could cause visitors to not see ads. This is because a bot could visit your site, and generate a cached version of the page without ads. That cached version would be served to visitors.

To avoid this problem, either don’t use these bot settings or use client-side rendering method offered in Ad Commander Pro.

Client-side rendering also has the added benefit of rendering ads using JavaScript. Many bots won’t execute JavaScript, and therefore would not be served ads.