Guide repeatedly displaying for users

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This article provides guidance for when an ad blocker causes guides to redisplay for users and won't permanently dismiss or when it causes multi-step guides to not continue as expected.

Product area: Guides (web, mobile)

Issue

Users with an active ad blocker in their browser might be unable to permanently dismiss automatic guides or navigate multi-step guides as expected. This might appear to be an issue with repeat guide display when repeat guide display isn't enabled.

An update to a third-party ad blocker list on September 19, 2022 is impacting guide behavior for end users with ad blockers. The update now blocks all Pendo guide events if users are using third-party software to block tracking activity in their browser.

Users using ad blockers with this functionality still see guides, but the guide events that indicate the guide is seen or dismissed, and prevent it from displaying again, are not received by Pendo. As a result, automatic guides display repeatedly every time the user is eligible to see the guide and guides load. Also, guides that require guide events to track progress, like multi-step walkthroughs or guides with navigation steps and page loads, can't monitor the user's progress and might not behave as expected.

All events, including identify, click, and load events, used by Pendo analytics are also blocked. Poll responses aren't blocked and are still received by Pendo. This is expected behavior for third-party ad blockers that block user tracking and is in no way malicious. While Pendo guides and analytics can be subject to ad-blocking tools, we're looking for solutions that work with ad blockers that won't degrade the user experience. Pendo is committed to working on solutions that provide the best possible end experience for users using ad blockers. 

Diagnosis

If you are self-hosting the Pendo agent, verify that you're on the latest agent version. Also, verify that the end-user currently has an ad blocker on their browser. Remove it or turn it off to ensure proper displaying of guides.

Visitors with an active ad blocker typically don't have any activity displayed in their visitor details because the ad blocker stops behavior events. Account for the time it takes data to process and appear in the UI when investigating this issue.

This issue doesn't affect Pendo customers with CNAME.

Solutions

Guide poll and update target segments

Even with an ad blocker, guides still display and poll responses are received. You can use an automatically activated lightbox guide with a poll building block to ask users if they are using an ad blocker and request that they disable it on your site. This is an opportunity to remind users that in-app messaging and analytics on your site are a key part of improving their user experience. This guide should ignore throttling and display before any other automatic guides.

In your poll, ask users if they have an active ad blocker. Add a rule in the target segment for all automatic guides that exclude visitors who confirmed they have an ad blocker. Use a poll response rule with the format "Do you have an active ad blocker?" is not equal to "Yes" ever or something similar according to the copy in your guide.

CNAME

You can configure CNAME for your Pendo subscription. A CNAME configuration appears to pass Pendo data through your domain instead of sending it directly to a Pendo domain. Ad blockers block event traffic directly to pendo.io. With CNAME, ad blockers handle Pendo data the same way they handle your application's data and Pendo service shouldn't be interrupted for end-users with ad blockers.

For more information about implementing CNAME and Guide display issues, see CNAME for Pendo Insights and Guidance and Guide isn't displaying.

 

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