Introducing Google Tag Manager

Posted by on October 9, 2012

Search engine giant Google has just recently come up with a new service to make managing website tags a lot easier. For those who don’t know, tags in this case are small snippets of code that are used to measure traffic and visitor behavior, and are not similar to the kinds of tags you’d put on your blog. Website administrators and designers use the data collected by these tags to understand how their design impacts conversion rates and how best to improve their site.

Their new service, known as the Google Tag Manager, is completely free and works the same way as it’s other web services, like Google Analytics and Adwords. Through the Tag Manager, an organization can specify and track the pages on their website that are supposed to have tags. Additionally, from a single account, they will also be able to quickly apply and remove tags to multiple pages, page types, and can even manage tags for multiple websites. The Tag Manager can load the proper tags for each page on request, and is optimized to do so efficiently, without significantly increasing the load time.

The Google Tag Manager also provides a number of tools that make it easier to manage tags, such as the ability to debug and preview tags.

As the industry grows and more organizations focus on search engine optimization and inbound marketing, so does the need for a robust tag management solution. At the moment, the only other company offering a similar solution is QuBit, a company founded by former Google executive Graham Cooke. They estimate that only 5 percent of the top 10,000 websites currently use some form of tag management, but are also expecting that number to rise in the coming years.

Both QuBit’s and Google’s tag management solutions are designed with digital marketers in mind, but can also be used in place of the tag management tools currently found in web content management systems. The biggest concern for many, however, is whether or not Google will keep its system closed, and how willing they would be to work with partners in the future. Would Google ever open its system up, essentially allowing for the creation of a marketplace where third parties would be able to compete with them? Or would they keep the system closed and force everyone to use their product?

Currently, the only open standard for tag management is known as “Universal Variable”, and was created by, and currently marketed by QuBit.