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Google’s New Global Site Tag

3 MINUTE READ | October 24, 2017

Google’s New Global Site Tag

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

Just in time for the Holidays and hot on the heels of Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Google has released a new site tag (global site tag) that helps advertisers work around the ITP update by streamlining conversion tracking across Google products.

ITP is a new Safari 11 feature that utilizes machine learning on both desktop and mobile devices to block the cookies that advertisers use to track users across different websites.

Since the ITP update was enabled by default for mobile and desktop Safari users, the impact it would have on conversion tracking and remarketing efforts was largely unknown – stirring the industry into a bit of a panic since campaign success relies heavily on the accurate measurement of people’s interactions with digital ads before and after conversion.

Google quickly responded to the industry’s concerns with a new solution designed to improve performance measurements – the global site tag (gtag.js). This updated conversion tag combines Google’s ads and measurement tools under a single implementation – meaning, advertisers can now use one tag for Google Analytics purposes, and Google marketing features like remarketing efforts and conversion tracking.

global site tag

By updating your website’s tags to the new global site tag, Google AdWords is in accordance with Apple’s ad attribution recommendations – unleashing a wave of calm over advertisers and campaign managers across the globe as we prep our brands for a successful Holiday season.

As specified in Google’s announcement, the global site tag “will now serve as the single tag for both AdWords and Google Analytics, with support for DoubleClick products coming soon.”

This new conversion tracking tag combines the global site tag with an event snippet. So, “by setting it on every page of your site, and placing event tags on your active conversion pages,” the tag sets new cookies on your domain that stores information about the ad click that brought a user to your website – sending you conversion data whenever those event calls are made.

It’s important to note that the global site tag is not replacing Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager enables you to manage tags outside of the Google suite, like Facebook heatmapping tool tags while the Global Site Tag is for conversion tracking and measurement on your site.

We know each client account is different depending on whether or not they use Google Analytics, so PMG account services have been working alongside client partners to ensure AdWords and Google Analytics accounts are updated with the appropriate conversion tracking tags, but reach out to your account manager if you have any questions.

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Going forward, we will continue to update our blog with any new developments surrounding Intelligent Tracking Prevention and the Google global site tag.

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