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A while ago I posted a #GTMTips post where I detailed the steps you can take to opt-out of all Google Analytics tracking and the DoubleClick redirects that often follow. It was a fun exercise, but because it relies on preventing requests on a tag-by-tag basis (using the ubiquituous customTask), it can be a chore to handle in large containers. In this article, we’ll continue with the theme of opting out from Google Analytics tracking by leveraging a solution provided by the tool itself.

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Google Tag Manager makes it fairly easy to do cross-domain tracking. Basically, you list the hostnames you want to automatically decorate with linker parameters in the Auto-Link Domains field of your Page View tag, and that takes care of decorating the URLs with the necessary parameter. It’s dead easy, even if there are a bunch of traps you need to watch out for (see my post on troubleshooting cross-domain tracking issues).

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One of the challenges in working with Google Tag Manager (or any JavaScript-based platform for that matter) is what to do with race conditions. A race condition emerges when you have two resources competing for execution in the browser, and there is a degree of unpredictability to which “wins” the race. A prime example is working with jQuery. It’s one of the most popular JavaScript libraries out there, and websites utilize it for a multitude of things, many useful for Google Tag Manager, too.

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With GDPR looming around the corner, it’s time to explore the options you have at your disposal for respecting the new, stricter regulations for tracking users and for collecting data about their visits to your website. In this article, we’ll explore the wonderful customTask (again), to see how you can programmatically prevent the request to Google Analytics or the redirect to DoubleClick from ever taking place, in case certain conditions are met.

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Sending personally identifiable information (PII) to Google Analytics is one of the things you should really avoid doing. For one, it’s against the terms of service of the platform, but also you will most likely be in violation of national, federal, or EU legislation drafted to protect the privacy of individuals online. In this #GTMTips post, I’ll show you a way to make sure that any tags you configure this solution with will not contain strings that might be construed as PII.

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If you open the Google Tag Manager user interface and browser your tags, triggers, and variables, you might notice that the UI now has two new features: Pagination, where only 50 results are shown per page A quick search / filter bar at the top of each list, which lets you narrow the list down to results that match your query Pagination might be a nuisance in large containers, but it was implemented to improve performance.

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Tracking what a user selects in a drop-down (or select) list/menu can be very useful. This is particularly the case when the selection immediately does something, such as initiate a download or navigate the user to another page. But even if there is no immediate action, it’s still interesting to know what selections users might be doing, if only to uncover yet another piece of the engagement puzzle. Here’s the Google Tag Manager way to do it!

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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland