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  • Multiple Instances of Events Detected in Google Analytics 4 Debugger

    Posted by Mason on 11 October 2022 at 5:08 am

    I’ve got a frustrating Google Analytics 4 issue where events keep repeating themselves. I’ve got one Conversion set to fire on a page_view event through a GTM trigger. But instead of firing just once, it fires many times – and it’s doing this for both automatic and custom events. Here’s the weird thing, sometimes when I reload the page the multiples disappear, then reappear again when I reload.

    Here’s a bit more background:
    – Google Ads links directly to Google Analytics 4
    – Same with Google Search Console
    – The setup is pretty vanilla
    – I’ve got GA4 running through Google Tag Manager
    – Every time an event duplicates, all the parameters are identical

    Here’s what it looks like: [Duplicate events in GA4](https://i.stack.imgur.com/PC6Np.png)

    Here’s what I’ve tried so far, but no joy:
    – Checked for multiple GA4 and GTM codes on the website
    – Installed Google Analytics 4 directly into the website
    – Running it with and without all filters (I’ve got a debug filter and IP-blocking internal filter set up)
    – Installed GTM using a Plugin and hard coded it into the header.php file (also tried it with and without GA4 installed directly)
    – When I pause the GA4 configuration tag in GTM, the Google Analytics pageview doesn’t fire, but automatic and custom events do. Same problem – they fire multiple times.
    – Made sure there no Google Analytics 4 events – all events are created in GTM
    – Switched off “Collect Universal Analytics events” in GA4
    – When I choose the Google Tag in GA4, both the GA4 property and Google Ads account are set as “Destinations”. Plus, “Ignore duplicate instances of on-page configuration (recommended)” is switched on.

    Any ideas?

    Emma replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Alexander

    17 November 2022 at 3:12 pm

    So, this is a bit of an interesting puzzle you’ve got on your hands. Your issue is with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) where events keep repeating themselves a bit like a flashy disco light. I know, not exactly the greatest party, right? This happens for both automatic and custom events. Adding to the mix is the strange behaviour of these duplicates randomly disappearing and reappearing every time you reload the page.

    Now, in theory, all should be working since your setup is pretty standard – Google Ads and Google Search Console both link directly to GA4, and every duplicate event even has the same parameters. But there’s always that one troublemaker in the bunch causing chaos, isn’t there?

    You’ve tried all the right things – checking for multiple GA4 and GTM codes on the website, installing Google Analytics 4 directly onto the website, running it with and without filters, switching on (or off) “Collect Universal Analytics events” in GA4, and even attempting GTM installations through a Plugin and hard coding it into the header.php file. But no luck so far.

    I’d definitely recommend taking a more technical approach to this problem. Start with the front-end tracking debugging and take the GA4 Debugger with a pinch of salt. It’s a rough product and well, a bit buggy to be honest. Instead, you may want to use the Network tab to see what’s being sent out with each page load and observe if any repeated events occur.

    If you spot double events, it essentially points to a problem within GTM. You could disable it, reload the page and see if double tracking persists. If it does, you may have another culprit – possibly gtag.js doing some shadow tracking in parallel.

    In short, figuring out duplicate event firing for your Google Analytics 4 is really a systematic process of elimination. The issue may not be as complicated as it seems but it does require some technical know-how. Hang in there and you’ll soon have it sorted.

  • Emma

    16 April 2023 at 7:26 am

    It seems like there might be an issue with the Google Analytics 4 itself or how your website is triggering the events. Despite your thorough troubleshooting steps, the problem persists which suggests the issue lies beyond the basic setup or common problems. It seems like this issue occurs over time with older events duplicating more.

    Given your detailed work so far, at this point, I’d recommend reaching out to Google Support for help. They have the tools to look deeper into your account and see what might be causing such an unusual issue. It may be a known bug or something specific to your setup that isn’t immediately obvious. Additionally, ensure you’re using the latest versions of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and your website doesn’t have any conflicting scripts running.

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