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Here we are, reunited with customTask. This time, we’ll put this wonderful mechanism to work for a very, very good cause. One of the lesser known “features” of Google Analytics is that when the payload size (the request body that is actually sent to Google Analytics with each request) goes past a certain limit, specifically 8192 bytes, the hit is aborted without warning. This can come as a surprise, because there’s no indication anywhere in Google Analytics that you are missing hits because of this.

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After writing yet another customTask article on how to respect client-side opt-out using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, the analytics.js core library was enhanced with a new field that makes it all a lot easier to do. The field, allowAdFeatures, lets you either allow or block the request to DoubleClick that is initiated when Advertising Features have been enabled. In this very short article, I’ll quickly show you what the field does and why it’s useful.

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One of my favorite (and most popular) articles in my blog is Improve Data Collection With Four Custom Dimensions. In that article, I show how you can improve the quality and granularity of your Google Analytics data set with just four Custom Dimensions. The reason I chose the four dimensions (Hit Timestamp, Session ID, Client ID, and User ID) is because I firmly believe that they should be in Google Analytics’ standard set of dimensions, but for some inexplicable reason they aren’t.

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In this article, Jethro Nederhof of Snowflake Analytics fame and I will introduce you to some pretty neat web browser APIs. The purpose of these APIs is to find out more about how the user navigated to the current page, and what’s going on with their browser tabs. There are so many things you can do with this new information. You can build proper navigational path reports, rather than rely on the fuzzy and often incoherent flow reports in Google Analytics.

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Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn’t, but requests sent from your website (or app) to Google Analytics have a maximum size. Or, more specifically, the payload size (meaning the actual content body of the request) has a maximum. This maximum size of the payload is 8192 bytes. This means, basically, that the entire parameter string sent to Google Analytics servers can be no longer than 8192 characters in length.

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If you have been reading my blog articles over the past year, you might have noticed a disturbing trend. I’ve published 9 articles on customTask since the API was released. It might not sound like much, but I can’t think of a single feature in Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager that has so completely convinced me of its usefulness in such a short time. The customTask API is a feature of the Universal Analytics library (used by Google Tag Manager’s tags, too).

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When the Google Analytics Settings variable was introduced in May 2017, it resulted in a significant change in the Google Analytics tag user interface in Google Tag Manager. The default UI for editing a tag was stripped down of all GA-specific settings, and the new Google Analytics Settings drop-down was the replacement. Unfortunately, the bulk of Google Tag Manager articles online (including those on this blog) still refer to the old interface in screenshots and instructions.

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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland