GA4: Tag Settings and Data Filters
As you may know Google App+Web has been rebranded to Google Analytics 4 just a couple of weeks ago. The idea is to focus on customer-centric measurement, instead of have data fragmented by device or by platform.
Being a long-time tester, as always happens when a new Google’s product is rolling out, new features are released and popup any day now! And GA4 is no exception.
From today “Tag Settings” and “Data Filter” features are available. Let’s dig into this.
Google Analytics 4: Tag Setting
You can find the new feature inside the section Admin > Property > Streams; once you click the data stream of your interest you will have a screen that looks the following:
Click Tagging Settings and from now on you can:
- Modify events and parameters straight from GA4 console
- Create new events starting from existing events
- Configure CROSS Domain tracking
- Identify your internal traffic
It allows to modify events or parameters that are collected via GA4.
When I could use it? Let’s see a couple of examples:
A basic example of using “modify events” can be the tracking of the same event for iOS and Android apps, that can be declined using two different names. The product preview in a page category inside the ecommerce for iOS is named preview_single_product, while for Android is preview_product. This feature allows to modify and unify them into single_product_preview.
A further example is related to the typos during the configuration: it happens that instead of naming the event view_product, we incorrectly named it view_prodduct. No problem at all: it’s so easy to rename and amend the event.
The parameters associated with the events can be easily modified picking up from the suggested dropdown menu.
GA4 offers the opportunity to create a new event starting from one or more events we are already tracking. See the example below.
Supposing we need to track the view checkout event, as somehow we consider it as conversion. Without developing any lines of code (GTM/hardcoded, etc) we can access the ‘Create event’ screen and set:
Please note that you have to pay attention to the order in which the elements are modified because, as for the filters, the order is relevant.
Cross Domain Tracking
One of the features that at the moment was not so easy to understand was the cross domain. From now on it will be easy to create directly from the Admin panel of the tool!
Cross domain allows to unify, in a single data stream, data collected by two or more different domains. When we use this feature be aware that the enhanced measurement of outbound links towards one of the domains we are considering doesn’t work anymore.
Similar to Universal Analytics an identification parameter is passed into the URL, just like ?gl=1*value*_ga_*value*
Internal Traffic Setting
How to exclude our internal or a supplier’s traffic from our site traffic?
Compared to what we know is a little bit more complex from a logical point of view, but let’s see.
GA4 asks to define a “rule” including one or more IPs that represent our internal traffic. The rule is going to populate the event “traffic_type” that will be the only chance to identify the internal traffic.
Now in order to filter our traffic we need to move on to the second new feature: filters!
GA4 Data Filters
To reach the feature you have to follow the path Admin > Property > Data Settings > Data Filters.
You will find the default exclude filter “Internal Traffic” set to “Testing” mode.
Now you have to different filters: Internal Traffic and Developer Traffic.
- Internal Traffic: it is identified by the event “traffic_type” and includes the value that we are going to specify by the rule we previously mentioned
- Developer Traffic: includes or excludes the traffic with the parameter debug_mode=1 or debug_event=1. So as to ensure test data are not mixing with the property.
If compared to Universal Analytics, in addition to Exclude/Include we have a new parameter named Filter State which consists of:
- Testing: Analytics examines the filter but doesn’t apply the permanent changes and data are identified with the name and value of the following dimensions: –> name: test data filter, value: value data filter
- Active: filters are applied and the changes are permanent
- Inactive: filter is not considered
At present GA4 has an upper limit of 10 filters each property; filters’ attributes applied in UA still persist.
What do you think about the new features? What would you like Google to implement in the new GA4?
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