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If you’re a user of the free version of Google Analytics, and if you have a free Google Analytics property collecting hits exclusively from the Google Analytics Services SDK (Android or iOS), you might have recently received an email that looks like this (emphasis mine): In a nutshell, Google is now starting the process of deprecating the “legacy” Google Analytics for Mobile Apps. This covers all data collection SDKs that do not have the word “Firebase” in them.

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In Google Analytics, the concept of a session is the key aggregation unit of all the data you work with. It’s so central to all the key metrics you use (Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, Session Duration, Landing Page), and yet there’s an underlying complexity that I’m pretty certain is unrecognized by many of GA’s users. And yet, since this idea of a session is so focal to GA (to the point of being overbearing), it’s annoying that the browser isn’t privy to any of the sessionization parameters that Google Analytics applies to the hits sent from the browser to its servers.

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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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Simo Ahava

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

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland