About validations and alerts in global site tag

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll see the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place, the “Audiences” tab within the left page navigation menu. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more About Audience reporting
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases

After you’ve added the global site tag across your website or app, you can use the tag validator to see if it's implemented correctly.
You can find the following in the global site tag validator:

  • Tag status
  • Information that helps in identifying issues, fixes problems, and optimizes your tag setup
  • Tag validation reports, which you can email to yourself or others
  • Tag code and instructions, which you can email to yourself or others

In this article, you’ll get familiar with the benefits of tag validation, find the tag and check if it’s working, how global site tags and lists work, and some frequently asked questions.

Benefits of tag validation

The global site tag validation provides the details about how your tag is working and tag validation provides statistics related to your global site tag. If there are any problems with your tag, tag validation shows some common solutions that might help you with your tag issues.

You'll find answers to these questions:

  • Is your tag active?
  • Are the custom parameters from your global site tag implemented correctly?
  • Is the ID parameter activated? If so, how often do the IDs pass due to page visits matching your feed IDs?

Instructions to find the tag and check if it's working

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click the tools icon Google Ads | tools [Icon] on the right corner of the navigation menu.
  3. Under “Shared Library”, click Audience manager.
  4. From the left page menu, click Your data sources. Here, you’ll view your Google Ads tag.
  5. Click Details at the bottom of the “Google Ads tag” card, and you'll find these sections:
    • Data source hits: Shows the number of hits that your data source has received. You can view this data from the last 7 days (hourly) or 30 days (daily).
    • Parameters: The parameters are included in your tag and can be used to show personalized ads to your website visitors.
    • Tag setup: Provides you with the set up instructions and tag code. You can select how you want to install Google Ads tag in 3 ways:
      • Install the tag yourself: Add the tag to your website code
      • Email the tag: Send the tag and instructions for installing the tag to your webmaster
      • Use global site tag manager: Add, update, and manage your website tags using global site tag manager

Tips

  • During tag implementation, validate your tag using Tag Assistant (available in English only). This tool will catch most syntax errors. Go to Tag Assistant.
  • We recommend using the global site tag from the new Google Ads experience which is easier to set up, even though the tags from the old Google Ads experience will still work with rule-based lists (for example tags that have the conversion_label variable which has been removed from newer versions of the tag). You'll find this newer tag in your Shared library.

How to fix issues with global site tags and lists

There can be issues like your automatically-created dynamic remarketing list isn’t populating or the global site tag validator shows that your tag can’t be detected. In this section, we’ll discuss how you can troubleshoot these issues.

Check the Google Ads Tag Audience source

If Google doesn’t receive any data from the tag, an error message will be shown 24 hours after the Google Ads tag audience source is created.

You can identify errors by:

You can wait for 24 hours from when you put the tag on the site to view if the tag is working. After 24 hours, check that your audience source is populating. In the meantime, you can use the Tag Assistant to check your implementation.

After 48 hours, if you still see tag validation alerts, read below to understand and fix each message.

Note: Remember that custom parameters are case sensitive. For example searching, "ID" will not detect the "id" parameter.

Understand the messages on your Google Ads Tag Source

1. Is your global site tag active?

If the tag is active: You'll see your audience source begins to populate within 24 to 48 hours in the graph on your audience source page. If the audience source populates within 48 hours, your tag is active, and if it does not populate even after 48 hours, there could be an error.

If the tag is not active: There won't be any statistics, and you'll get this message: "We haven’t detected a tag on your website or in your app". Under the "Recommended actions" section, you'll find a link to an article with instructions on how to implement the global site tag.

2. Are the custom parameters in your dynamic remarketing tag set up correctly?

If no custom parameters are found: You'll get this message: "We haven’t detected custom parameters", along with a recommended action to review the tag implementation guide. Custom parameters are optional for non-dynamic remarketing.

If custom parameters are found only in a few of your site URLs: You'll get this message: "We found the tag with custom parameters on very few pages". The message shows a recommendation to confirm that the dynamic remarketing tag has been implemented across the entire site, and check the top 10 URLs with missing custom parameters. You can also download the top 500 URLs with missing custom parameters.

If some problems are detected with your custom parameters: You'll get this message: "There are problems with some of your custom parameters", along with a recommended action to review the tag implementation guide. You can expand and see which custom parameters are activated, how often they get activated, and which aren't activated.

3. Is the ID parameter in your dynamic remarketing tag set up correctly?

If no id custom parameter is detected within the dynamic remarketing tag on your site: You'll get this message: "We didn't find the custom parameter id", along with a recommended action to review the tag implementation guide. You'll require the id custom parameter to enable dynamic remarketing.

You can also view the top 10 URLs without the parameter, and download the top 500 URLs missing the parameter.

If the parameter is found in only a few of your site's URLs: You'll get this message: "We found the custom parameter (your business type)_id in very few pages", along with a recommended action to add the parameter on all of your site's web pages containing product information. You'll find a link to the tag implementation guide, and a list of the top 10 URLs without the parameter. You'll also have the option to download the top 500 URLs missing the parameter.

If the id parameter is found on the site but none of the values match the feed: You'll get this message: "Custom parameter '(your business type)_id' and feed values don't match", along with a recommended action to check that the ID matches your feed product or service "ids" or the "item_group_id" of the product.

You can also download the Tag Assistant extension for your Chrome browser to help you validate the match between the parameter and the connected feed. You'll view the top 10 products that don't match the associated feed, and be able to download the top 500 products that don’t match the feed.

If there are only a few page visits with IDs matching the product IDs (or item_group_id) in the connected feed: You'll get this message: "Only x of y page visits that have passed an ID (or z percent) match IDs in your feed", along with possible reasons for the low match.

You'll also find a recommendation to validate the matching product IDs using Tag Assistant extension for your Chrome browser. The recommendation will also suggest you to review your tag implementation guide that includes a sample of 10 products from your feed and correct product or service IDs that should match on your site. You'll also be able to see the top 10 URLs without the parameter, and download the top 500 URLs missing the parameter.

If there are sufficient page visits with ids matching the product IDs (or item_group_id) in the connected feed, but just a few of these matches can be shown in dynamic ads: You'll get this message: "Only x of y page visits that have passed an ID (or z percent) match approved IDs in your feed", along with a brief explanation that some products in the feed might be filtered out because they're removed, have unavailable images, or because of the sensitive nature of the products.

Note: You'll see this message if you've just enabled your campaign (with ad groups and dynamic ads) and your feed hasn't yet been reviewed. Feed review can take up to 3 days.

If the id is found on the page, correctly activated, and matching a majority of products in the connected feed: You'll get this message: "Custom parameter '(your business type)_id' is active". No recommended actions will be provided, and you'll see the top 10 values sent through the custom parameter.

4. Is the pagetype parameter in your dynamic remarketing tag set up correctly?

If no pagetype parameter is found in the dynamic remarketing tag: You'll get this message: "We didn’t find the custom parameter '(your business type)_pagetype", along with the recommended action to check the tag implementation guide to ensure proper setup. You'll also see the top 10 URLs without the pagetype parameter, and have the option to download the top 500 URLs missing the parameter.

If the pagetype parameter is found in only a few of your sites URLs: You'll get this message: "We found the custom parameter '(your business type)_pagetype' in very few pages", along with a recommended action to place the pagetype parameter on all of your sites webpages that contain product or service information. The tag implementation guide will be provided along with the top 10 URLs without the parameter and the option to download the top 500 URLs missing the parameter.

If at least one of the expected pagetype parameter values isn't found in the tag (for example, home, product, cart, purchase): You'll get this message: "Some values for custom parameter '(your business type)_pagetype' are missing", along with the recommended action to review the tag implementation guide and add these 4 pagetype values to the site depending on the content of the page.

You'll see details of the number of page visits by pagetype, the value being passed, and a link to download the Tag Assistant extension for Chrome, to help you view the values that your tag is sending.

If pagetype is found on the page, activated across the site, and passing the correct values: You'll get this message: "Custom parameter '(your business type)_pagetype' is active". There will be no recommended actions, and you'll see the top 10 values sent per the pagetype custom parameter.

5. Is the totalvalue parameter in your dynamic remarketing tag set up correctly?

If the parameter totalvalue isn't found on all pages of the website where the pagetype parameter passes "cart" and "purchase", you'll get this message: "Some cart pages are missing the custom parameter (your business type)_totalvalue", along with a recommended action to check that the tag was implemented correctly. The top 10 URLs for the "cart" pagetype that are missing the parameter will also be provided. You’ll also be to download the top 500 cart URLs missing the parameter.

If at least one totalvalue parameter passes a non-numeric value: You'll get this message: "Some values for the custom parameter (your business type)_totalvalue are invalid", along with the recommended action to make sure the totalvalue parameter only sends in numeric values.

You’ll find this information:

  • Details about the top 10 cart URLs with an invalid totalvalue
  • An option to download a report of the top 500 URLs with an invalid totalvalue
  • A link to download the Tag Assistant extension for Chrome. Tag Assistant will assist you in identifying the error

If totalvalue is found on all the cart and purchase pages and sending numeric values: You'll get this message: "(your business type)_totalvalue is active". There will be no recommended actions, and you'll see the top 10 cart values, and the option to download the top 500 cart values.

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