I am fortunate to share another guest post by Arben Kqiku, Digital Analyst at Assura. Last time, Arben graced this blog with a comprehensive love letter to R as an example of the power of this programming language. This time, he’ll add even more fancy tools to the toolkit to help you build a data pipeline in the Google Cloud Platform to join your Google Ads and Google Analytics 4 data together.
In a recent update to server-side tagging in Google Tag Manager, Google switched the default deployment of a server-side tagging backend from Google App Engine to Google Cloud Run. Now, when you create a new container and choose the automatically provisioned tagging server option, this service will be created in Google Cloud Run instead of in Google App Engine. While I’ve written about Cloud Run before, this update gives me an opportunity to review what actually happens when you provision a Cloud Run environment, how you can upgrade it, and how you can add enhancements such as multi-region load balancing to it (with ease, I might add!
Google is going all-in with Google Tag. We’ve already seen the consolidation effort through products like Google Analytics 4, and now Google is extending the merging of the tagging stack into Google Tag Manager, too. I’m referring to the new Google Tag that has replaced Google Analytics 4 configuration tags in your Google Tag Manager containers. With this release, all your old GA4 configuration tags have been auto-migrated to the new Google Tag.
One of the big pain points in configuring Google Analytics 4 through Google Tag Manager has been the difficulty of setting up event parameters, user properties, and settings across a range of tags. Well, we can finally get rid of our clumsy Config tag sequencing hacks because Google has released two new settings variables that mimic how the Google Analytics Settings Variable used to work in Universal Analytics. The new variables are:
In January 2020, when Google Tag Manager’s server-side tagging was first introduced to the general public at SuperWeek, I wrote a flurry of tweets, sharing my vision of a server-side tagging future. In one of the tweets, I discussed how you could do these: Hit validation and fixing before the hit is sent to the endpoint PII and privacy controls for the requests before dispatch Fast forward to today, over three years later, and we are finally treated to a feature that grants us scalable controls to properly interrupt data flows within server-side GTM.
I owe my career to Google Analytics. Whatever success I have achieved over the past 15 years or so can be directly attributed to my work with GA and, by extension, other tools in the Google stack. Now, Universal Analytics is about to be turned down. It fills me with a sense of nostalgia and pining for past, simpler times. When I cast my mind back, a scattering of memories emerges in my mind:
While Measurement Protocol for GA4 is still rather, well, rough, it can be used to augment existing collection quite nicely. Recently, I wrote an article that discussed the nuances of session attribution with Measurement Protocol. One of the pain points of any data ingestion setup is how to debug it. Measurement Protocol hits are not automatically surfaced in GA4’s DebugView. In this article, I’ll show you how to make those hits pop up in the debug stream.
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