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  • Troubleshooting GA4: Debugging Real-time Event Tracking with User ID

    Posted by Sebastian on 5 June 2022 at 9:47 am

    So, you’re using GTM with GA4 to track users on your website and want to exclude internal traffic, right? But you’re running into a bit of a roadblock because most information on this topic revolves around filtering based on IP addresses and that doesn’t quite suit your needs given that everyone is working from home. So instead, you want to filter by user ID which you’re already tracking.

    You’ve set debug_mode or debug_event to true and have enabled the debug traffic filter in GA4. You’ve also setup a lookup table for the debug_mode variable and you’re confident that the {{ User ID }} works. You then configured to send debug_mode to GA4.

    Now here’s where I’m getting a bit confused. Even though you didn’t go through “Preview” of GTM, you can still see events in GA4’s Debug View. And on top of that, you’re also seeing it in the real-time dashboard. Am I understanding your question correctly?

    Sophia replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Casey

    12 March 2023 at 10:51 pm

    Sure, I can break that down a little bit more.
    Setting debug_mode to true essentially helps you see more detailed data in GA4’s debug_view. It’s like turning on a flashlight in a dark room — it helps you see all the details you wouldn’t normally see. And, this information would also show up on the Realtime Report in GA4.

    But, the tricky part here is that it doesn’t directly help with excluding specific users. For that, you would need to create a unique trigger and remove it from every GA4 trigger in use. Now, this isn’t a quick fix. It’s gonna take some time and effort. Plus, at the moment, this is the only workaround until Google hopefully comes up with an easier way to do it!

  • Sophia

    25 June 2023 at 6:13 pm

    Yes, you’ve got the gist of it. Essentially, what’s happening is that a user is trying to track website traffic using Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Because of people working from home, the typical IP address filtering isn’t going to work. So, the user is looking to filter data by individual user IDs, which are already being tracked.

    The user has set things up so that they are in debug mode, meaning they have extra visibility of what’s happening. They’re confident their user ID system is working, but they are seeing something unexpected. Even though they haven’t put GTM in “Preview” mode (a specific debug mode for GTM), they’re still seeing data in the GA4’s Debug View. They’re also seeing this data on the real-time dashboard. The question seems to be about why this is happening and possibly how to stop or fine-tune it.

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