7 ways to check the presence of Google Analytics on the site
When getting acquainted with a new project, there is often a need to check the presence of Google Analytics on the site. Let's consider several ways to choose the most suitable for you.
1. Ask the client
Despite its banality, the first method should be used as a priority. If the analytics is installed using the standard method, you can easily confirm this fact in one of the ways below. However there are specific methods for installing analytics on the server side, and the methods described below will indicate the absence of Google Analytics on the site. So, for complete certainty, we ask a question.
2. Tag Assistant
Probably familiar to many and quite an easy-to-use browser extension that allows you to view the tags installed on the site in a couple of clicks.
Follow the link to install. After installation and activation, the icon will appear in the list of extensions:
Click on it, and in the window that opens, click the button to activate the extension:
Refresh the page and open the extension again. If analytics is installed through GTAG or the Google Tag Manager tag (hereinafter GTM), we can see the presence of analytics on the site:
It is important to note that after the global transition to GA4, the word “Legacy” was added to the name of the extension, which may indicate that at some point, the extension may stop working.
3. View page source
Another common way is to go to the page code view. By clicking the right mouse button, select the “View page source” item in the context menu:
Now, after opening the text search window with the key combination Ctrl+F (Command+F for Mac), enter the following words one by one:
- gtag.js - if you find this, the site uses GTAG. Looking at the code snippet between the <script> and </script> tags, you need to find the Analytics ID. If it looks like UA-XXXXXXX-X, the previous analysis protocol, called GA3, is used. If we see the "data flow identifier", which has the form G-XXXXXXX - GA4 is installed
- analytics.js - if we find such a word, it means Universal Analytics installed on the site
- gtm.js - many specialists use Google Tag Manager to connect analytics to the site. Therefore, if neither gtag.js nor analytics.js can be found, we look for gtm.js. In this case, to understand the presence of analytics, access to GTM is already required, and already in the interface, we will be able to check the presence of the tag, as well as check its correct operation through the preview. Please note that the GA4 configuration has changed and now uses the Google Tag instead of the now disabled Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration tag. You can learn about the nuances here
4. Checking other files on the site
5. Network tab in developer tools
We repeat the actions from the previous point, namely, call the developer tools with the F12 key (or Option + Cmd + J on Mac). Go to the "Network" tab. Here, you can see a list of requests received from the site, including Google Analytics requests. In the search field, enter the word "collect" and reload the page.
As a result, you can see the requests. As you can see from the screenshot below, we have a request that starts with collect?v=2
This indicates that GA4 is installed on the site. You can also see the data stream ID below. If we see a request that begins with collect?v=1, this will indicate that Universal Analytics is installed.
6. GA Debugger
One more useful browser extension. If it is not installed yet, go here. While on the site, activate the extension. The page will reload, and the “ON” icon will appear on the extension logo:
Now open the familiar “Developer Tools,” go to the “Console” and clear it using the button on the screen:
Now we update the page. If we see something like this, the GA Debugger found analytics on the site:
If Google Analytics is installed on the site, it leaves several so-called cookies. Again, open "Developer Tools" and go to the "Applications" tab, and find the Cookies section in the list on the left:
Select your domain in the list that opens and write "_ga" in the search field:
Analytics is installed on the site if there is at least one cookie with your domain in the Domain column.
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