17 March 2018: MeasureCamp London
Updated 22 January 2018 In the new version of Google Tag Manager, one of the most visible and profound changes to the previous version is how tags are fired (and blocked). First of all, there’s the obvious terminological distinction: we talk about triggers now, not rules. Second, triggers have become an integral part of the tag creation workflow, and as such have far more significance in the user interface than before.

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One of the recurring problems in migrating to Google Tag Manager is how to make the transition as smooth as possible. Usually it requires that we agree with the developers on a time when the old code is removed, and at that moment we need to make sure the GTM tags point to the right UA code. This is, of course, only one use case for migrations, as some people do the entire migration in a staging environment, and some just don’t care if they lose a little bit of data along the way.

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When our good friends in the Google Tag Manager developer team first introduced the Lookup Table Macro, we were excited. For many of us, it soon became the weapon of choice especially when used as a management and optimization tool for the container itself. However, the macro wasn’t considered perfect. In fact, the most frequently heard request had to do with the core functionality of the feature itself: the macro should support operations, that is, predicate logic.

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I’ve written about this before here and here, but this issue remains probably the biggest problem users have when implementing Google Tag Manager. Tip 10: Resolve conflicts with GTM’s listeners The tip title is actually wrong. You’re not fixing Google Tag Manager listeners. Rather, you’re resolving conflicts that other scripts on your page might introduce. GTM’s event listening is based on something called event delegation. Event delegation makes use of the document object model (DOM) and its tree-like hierarchy.

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If you use Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or any JavaScript-based data collection or analytics platform, have you ever stopped to wonder how they actually work? I mean, you obviously care about getting the data in, but are you taking the machinations of these tools for granted? This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long while, because I’m not so sure that many who work with these platforms actually understand how the browser and the web page interact.

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If you haven’t lived in a barrel, you should know by now that a new version of Google Tag Manager has been released. You can find the new version at http://tagmanager.google.com/, and there’s already a bunch of good articles about the new UI out there. I want to point out two: “Setting up GA via GTM’s new UX” by Krista Seiden, and “Google Tag Manager Refresh – 6 Things You Need to Know” by Jonathan Weber from Lunametrics.

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In the new version of Google Tag Manager, auto-event tracking has received a considerable usability upgrade. It might seem quirky at first, especially if you’re used to the old auto-event tracking method, but the logic behind the new setup is brilliant. The most important distinction is that auto-event tracking isn’t something you control with separate tags anymore. Rather, it’s now entirely trigger-driven, meaning you activate and specify the auto-event tracking of your choice using tag triggers (triggers are what ye olde folk used to call rules).

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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland