What Are the Latest Changes to the Google Tag?

Google has made some changes to its tags. What do you need to do about it?

Video Transcript

David: So, Lidija, what did you find for us this week?

Lidija: So, I totally accidentally ran into this new video explaining how Google Analytics set up on the website setup changed, and there is a new tag. So, the old configuration tag is now replaced with something new. And to be honest with you, that makes me feel so uncomfortable. It was by mere chance I ran into this information. I’d appreciate your input. Also, how do you keep up with all the changes, and how do you go about the clients that you have set up the old way already? Are you going through all of them and resetting them, or is that okay?

David: So. Great questions, good catch. So, here’s something we’ve known for a while. Google is consolidating all its tags into one JavaScript code. That is a good thing because we can basically have one code for a website. And it can cover everything from Tag Manager to Google Analytics to Google Ads. And we’re just adding one code. So, this week, they rolled that out. And what this looks like is, basically, we’re all using the Google Tag Manager script for everything. And we’re just telling Tag Manager to add this or add that. So, the good news is that if you are using Google Tag Manager to add Google Analytics to your website or your clients’ websites, they’re going to make the conversion for you.

Lidija: Perfect.

David: It’s all going to be done for you.

Lidija: Okay.

David: Because the script that needs to go on the site is the Tag Manager script. So, what I don’t know yet is if you’re not using Tag Manager, what you’re going to have to do. So, we do know that, for instance, we just transitioned from Universal Analytics to GA4, right? And that script fundamentally changed. So, if we still have the analytics .js script on our website or our clients’ websites, oh boy, we need to change that quickly. And frankly, if you’ve converted to GA4, you’ve already done that. But what’s interesting is that, for the last few months, if you go and look for a Google Analytics script on the website by viewing the source code, you will see the gtag script. Already. In fact, Ghostery, which we’ve used before and talked about, Ghostery sees the analytics tag as a Tag Manager tag because it’s the same code. They’ve already been working towards this. They just kind of did it secretly. So, the best practices for us right now if you follow the Curious Ants Game Plan and you’ve used Tag Manager on your client’s sites, aren’t you glad? You’ve got nothing to do. Right? Just watch. And we have the weekly troubleshooting dashboards that should be coming to you. Watch those. If something weird happens, then look at it. But you probably have nothing you need to do. If you, for some reason, and I know with some of my clients, won’t let me install Tag Manager or I wasn’t able to, I just have to watch those reports to see if something happens. But now is the time to encourage them to move into Tag Manager. Technically, we kind of knew this was going to happen, but the good news is if you’re using Tag Manager to install Google Analytics 4 on your clients’ sites, you don’t have to do anything. It will change a little bit the look and feel of adding the GA4 code to a client’s site and Tag Manager, but it’s really not going to be all that much different. So, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I’m going to change the processes on Curious Ants to update them so we can all have them. So, you have a video example, but I haven’t done it yet. But I think an important part of your question, Lidija, was how you keep up with this.

Lidija: Right. Yeah. Where do you check when changes are coming through so as not to miss them?
David: Yeah. Exactly. So, I found out through Simo Ahava’s email list. Do you know Simo? He’s from Finland. He is the guru of Tag Manager. That’s how I found it. His email is very technical but very good. So, you can subscribe to him for that.

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