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One of the myths surrounding Google Analytics is that the first hit of a session should always be a pageview. It makes sense - sessions are initialized with a landing page, and thus need a page view to have one. However, in this article I want to show you empirically how this myth is just that - a myth. There is little discernible impact if the first hit of a session is an event, and GA is more than capable of stitching the first event together with the subsequent pageview into a session entity.

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Updated 12 March 2019 with some minor clarifications.. On 21st February 2019, WebKit announced the release of the latest iteration of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), known as ITP 2.1. For a while now, Safari has been targeting cross-site tracking with ITP, first starting with cookies in third-party contexts, then tightening the noose after a number of workarounds emerged, and finally with the latest iteration targeting cookies that were moved from a third-party context to a first-party context.

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The jQuery JavaScript library is by almost any means of counting the most popular JavaScript library used in websites around the world. It’s so influential, in fact, that its evolution is tightly bound to the JavaScript standardization effort itself, and it’s an integral part of the JS Foundation’s efforts to build a community for JavaScript developers. Google Tag Manager, similarly, is the most popular tag management system used in websites, globally.

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I’m a big fan of Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics. In fact, I think it’s the only valid way to deploy Ecommerce tracking today, especially when using Google Tag Manager. The ability to use a Custom JavaScript variable and the possibility to tackle the full ecommerce funnel are some of the benefits of using Enhanced Ecommerce. However, tracking certain view-based events, impressions in particular, has a significant problem when it comes to how Google Analytics processes events.

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Perhaps you didn’t know this, but there’s a really handy demo account for Google Analytics you can use to check out how Google Analytics works in a real business context (the data is from the Google Merchandise Store). However, you can access the account with nothing more than read-only access. This is annoying if you wanted to customize the setup. Worry not, I have a solution for you! Harnessing the awesome power of customTask, you can create a duplicate of the data collected on any website where you can modify the tracking (e.

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One of the big problems in Google Analytics’ data model is the immutability of historical data. Once a row of data is written into the data table, it is there practically for good. This is especially annoying in two cases: spam and bogus ecommerce hits. The first is a recognized issue with an open and public data collection protocol, the latter is an annoyance that can explode into full-blown sabotage (you can use the Measurement Protocol to send hundreds of huge transactions to your competitor’s GA property, for example).

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Scope in Google Analytics’ Custom Dimensions refers to how the value in the Custom Dimension is extended to all hits in the same scope. Hit- and product-scoped Custom Dimensions apply to the given hit alone - they are not extended to any other hits in the session or by the same user. Session-scoped Custom Dimensions apply the last value sent during the session to all the hits in that session.

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Simo Ahava

Husband | Father | Analytics developer
simo (at) simoahava.com

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland