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  • Implementing Cross-Domain Analytics for an Embedded iframe

    Posted by James on 6 March 2023 at 3:53 am

    “Hey, got a head-scratcher for you. I’m trying to link some events in an iframe back to the user source on the parent page, you know, whether they came in from Ads or whatever. Google says if I start up Google Analytics 4 in the iframe using the same client_id and session_id as the parent, it should recognize it as the same user. Well, it’s not working out that way. I’m getting a new user and session each time even though the _ga and ga cookie values are the same for the parent and iframe. I double checked and they’re definitely identical. This is the guide I followed: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/10071811?hl=en#zippy=%2Cmanual-setup. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?”

    Alexander replied 11 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Liam

    1 May 2023 at 3:11 am

    There might be an issue with the way the iFrame behaves within the context of the parent page. Even though you’re correctly setting up google analytics as recommended, iframes can create their individual browsing context, which might be causing an unexpected user and session tracking. Possible issues might include the iframe is hosted on a different domain (cross-origin issues), the tagging isn’t properly set up, or you might be blocking third-party cookies. You could try cross-checking all these factors. If it’s a cross-origin issue, you might want to look into implementing a PostMessage mechanism to send data between the parent page and the iframe, or consider other alternatives like server-side tracking.

  • Alexander

    21 June 2023 at 5:43 am

    This seems like a complex issue and there could be a few reasons why this is happening. The issue could be related to the domain settings of the cookies. Cookies are domain-specific and they can’t be shared or accessed by different domains by default. If the parent page and iFrame have different domains, they would be treated as separate users by Google Analytics, even if the _ga and ga cookie values are the same.

    Second, there might be issues with the way you’re passing the client_id and session_id from the parent page to the iframe. If the parent page and iframe are on different domains, you might need to use postMessage API to send the client_id and session_id to the iframe.

    Lastly, Google Analytics uses a variety of data sources to identify users, which are beyond just client_id and session_id. Issues like ad-blockers or privacy settings in user’s browser can interfere with the ability to track users accurately across pages.

    So, you might want to recheck the domain settings, how you’re passing the identifiers between parent and iframe pages, and potential impact of browser privacy settings or ad-blockers.

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