Ad tracker

What is an Ad Tracker?

An ad tracker is a utility or program (typically an intermediary) that can be relied upon to gather statistical data from connected web sources for the purpose of analyzing their relationship. This is most frequently accomplished by intercepting tracking data embedded in a user's request – typically an identifying uniform resource locator (URL), an embedded browser cookie, or an altered referrer field.

Ad trackers also utilize secondary JavaScript based requests and synchronous reporting to pass identifying information for a given action.


The goal of an ad tracker is to gather information about the interaction between two sources – typically an individual user and an online resource. This data can be analyzed to determine the relationship between the two sources including the purpose of the user's visit, their motivation for accessing the resource, and the source of their request.

This data is typically used to promote marketing efforts, improve user experience, and streamline workflow.

Common Use

An ad tracker is typically used for online advertising to measure return on investment (ROI) for a marketing method. They're most often used to measure profitability and market penetration.