How To Exclude Inside Site visitors In Google Analytics 4

How To Exclude Internal Traffic In Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is rolling out in a rush, and in the event you’re studying this information, you may be having a tricky time determining the way it works.

One space that may be inflicting you confusion is filtering out inside visitors.

If you happen to’re like me, you’re already lacking how user-friendly Common Analytics (UA) was – particularly when it got here to filtering out visitors.

In UA, you had full management over how you might filter out visitors.

See the sweetness it had.

Universal Analytics Filters UIScreenshot from Google UA, Could 2023

Now, I discover it arduous to know why GA4 has changed such a significant perform with solely an IP-based rule.

The IP-based filter is ineffective when your organization workers are distant as, typically, IPs are dynamic, and it isn’t sensible to replace the checklist of IPs day by day.

That is why we’ve got created this information for you that can assist you filter out undesired visitors – and, most significantly, inside visitors – in GA4.

What Is Inside Site visitors?

“Inside visitors” refers back to the internet visitors that originates from you and your workers accessing your web site.

Your workers’ exercise can cut back the standard of your knowledge and make it more durable so that you can perceive what actual guests are doing on the web site, and the way a lot visitors you might have.

Regardless that IP-based filters will not be one of the best ways to filter our inside visitors, I wish to begin with that methodology as the best path to make use of – and as a foundation to clarify how new knowledge filters work.

How To Filter Out Site visitors Primarily based On IP

Navigate to Knowledge Streams in GA4.

Data StreamsScreenshot from GA4, Could 2023

Go to Configure tag settings, click on on the Present all button, after which click on on Outline Inside Site visitors Rule.

On the popup dialog, click on the Create button, and you will note a display the place you possibly can enter the IP addresses you wish to exclude.

Please notice the “traffic_type=inside” parameter within the dialog.

Whenever you create a rule, each time it applies, it does append to the Google Analytics hits the parameter “tt=inside” which is saved within the GA4 database.

IP based filter

Add knowledge filters by navigating to Knowledge Settings then Knowledge Filters, and clicking Create Filter button.

The essential thought is simple: You should assign a worth of your option to the “traffic_type” parameter after which use knowledge filters to take away any hits which have that very same worth assigned to the “traffic_type” parameter.

There are two choices: The “Developer” filter and the “Inside Site visitors” filter.

What Is The Inside Site visitors Knowledge Filter?

This filters out any visitors with the traffic_type parameter set to “inside” by default. The worth of the parameter and filter identify could be something.

How Does The Inside Site visitors Knowledge Filter Work?

For instance, you possibly can create an IP filter rule with a parameter traffic_type=europe_headquarters and set a distinct IP vary to your EU workplace.

You may create as many guidelines as you need with totally different traffic_type parameter values, and it will likely be despatched within the hit payload (as tt a parameter) when the customer IP matches the rule.

tt parameter in the hit payloadtt parameter within the hit payload

Then, by including a knowledge filter for every IP rule you’ve created, GA4 will exclude hits when traffic_type the information filter setting worth matches the tt parameter of the payload  –(tt is just an abbreviation of “visitors kind”).

What Is The Developer Site visitors Knowledge Filter?

This filter excludes visitors from builders or inside visitors from an organization or group.

Equally to the inner visitors knowledge filter, it eliminates solely knowledge from being recorded in GA’s database, with the distinction you could nonetheless see your exercise within the Debug View and its real-time reviews.

That’s the reason it’s known as a developer knowledge filter.

In distinction, you possibly can’t see occasions from inside visitors in Debug View when inside knowledge filters are lively.

How Does The Developer Knowledge Filter Work?

When debug mode is enabled _dbg payload parameter is included in hits.

Then, the developer knowledge filter eliminates all hits with _dbg the parameter being recorded within the GA4 database.

Debug mode parameter is added when utilizing the preview mode of Google Tag Supervisor, or when Google Analytics Debugger is used.

_dbg debug view parameter in the payload_dbg debug view parameter within the payload

Knowledge Filter States

Knowledge filters have three totally different states:

  • Testing.
  • Energetic.
  • Inactive.

Energetic and inactive states are self-explanatory, however you may be questioning what the testing state is.

Within the testing mode, you possibly can apply a filter in GA’s reviews utilizing the mechanically added customized dimension “Take a look at knowledge filter identify” equal to your knowledge filter identify.

Testing mode is a superb characteristic that means that you can take a look at in case your filters work correctly earlier than activating them as a result of making use of a knowledge filter completely impacts your knowledge.

It means the information you exclude won’t be processed and gained’t be accessible in Analytics.

We’ve realized how knowledge filters work by utilizing built-in IP filter guidelines.

However as I discussed, this won’t work with remote teams – and in that case, it’s higher to make use of a cookie-based method the place you ship your workforce a URL they will open, and their successive visits will probably be excluded primarily based on the cookies.

How To Exclude Site visitors In GA4 By Utilizing Cookies

I wish to be trustworthy on the outset: Setting this up requires many steps.

You should keep in mind the precept.

We have to ship the hits with the traffic_type parameter that we’ve set in knowledge filters when creating them.

This implies we are going to set a cookie on workers’ browsers and test each go to. At any time when that cookie is about, we are going to set the traffic_type parameter to “inside.”

Let’s say we’re going to use the exclude_user question parameter.

When workers go to the URL “https://instance.com/?exclude_user=1” with the question parameter “exclude_user” set to “1”, a pattern cookie exclude_user will probably be arrange.

You may ship that URL to your workers to make use of as soon as to open the web site and arrange cookies.

Please notice: Maintaining the names of variables the identical is necessary for the codes under to perform, and since client-side set cookies expire in seven days in Safari, your workers could must open that URL as soon as every week – or you possibly can set cookies when they’re logged in to your web site server aspect.

To arrange a cookie when one opens the URL https://instance.com/?exclude_user=1, we have to add a “custom HTML” tag in GTM with the next script and select the firing set off “Pageviews All Pages.”

(Trace: You should utilize ChatGPT for coding.)

 var urlParams = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search);
//test if exclude_user question parameter exists and set cookie
 if (urlParams.has("exclude_user")) 
   if (urlParams.get("exclude_user") === "1") 

 perform set_cookie(cookie_name) 
   var date = new Date();
   date.setTime(date.getTime() + (2 * 365 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000));
   var expires = "expires=" + date.toUTCString();
   doc.cookie = cookie_name + "=1; " + expires + "; path=/";

 perform delete_cookie(cookie_name) 
   doc.cookie = cookie_name + "=; expires=Thu, 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 UTC; path=/;";
Custom HTML tag in GTMCustomized HTML tag in GTM

Add the “1st Occasion Cookie” kind of variable with the identify “Inside Cookie” and set the cookie identify setting as exclude_user.

1st Party Cookie Variable1st Occasion Cookie Variable

It is going to return the worth of the exclude_user cookie whether it is set, or a particular worth undefined (not the identical because the string “undefined”) if the cookie doesn’t exist.

Add a built-in “Debug Mode” variable named “Debug Mode.”

Debug mode variableDebug mode variable

Create a JavaScript kind of variable named “Inside Site visitors,” copy and paste the code under into it, and save.

This JavaScript variable will return values “inside” or “developer_view”  (may very well be something totally different than “inside”) to be arrange for traffic_type parameter.

perform getTrackingType() 
 var developer_mode = Debug Mode;
 var urlParams = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search);
 var excludeUserParam = urlParams.get('exclude_user');
 //if exclude_user question parameter exists, override the return worth.
 if( excludeUserParam !== null ) excludeUserParam === '1');
   //if exclude_user paramter is about do not test cookies
   if( filter_type_overrdie )
     return 'inside';
     return 'developer_view';
 var internalCookie = Inside Cookie;
 if ( internalCookie === "1" ) 
    return 'inside';
 if (developer_mode) 
    return 'developer_view';
 return undefined;
GTM JavaScript variable where we set traffic_type parameter valueGTM JavaScript variable the place we set traffic_type parameter worth

It is going to have a distinct worth than the inner, thus our knowledge filter won’t be filtering out our developer views, and we are able to debug our setup whereas nonetheless having an exclude_user cookie setup.

The aim of this setup is to exclude builders from web site visits when they don’t seem to be testing whereas nonetheless permitting them to carry out debugging when vital since you want to have the ability to debug the setup often.

Set the traffic_type parameter to populate from the newly created Inside Site visitors variable in your GA4 configuration tag.

How to setup traffic_type parameterThe way to setup traffic_type parameter

Preview it in Google Tag Manager (GTM) by opening any URL of your web site with the “?exclude_user=1” question string hooked up, and test that the “traffic_type” parameter is stuffed in and that the “tt” hit payload parameter is about to “inside.”

You may swap between “inside” and “developer_view” values simply by altering the exclude_user question parameter worth from 1 to 2.

As soon as you’re positive that the filters work correctly and don’t filter out actual customers’ visitors by mistake, you possibly can activate them from the information filters web page, and you’re performed.

How to activate data filter in ga4The way to activate knowledge filter in GA4

In case you might have a gtag.js implementation, you have to add a traffic_type parameter equal to “inside” to your tag configuration, as proven under.

gtag('set',  'traffic_type': 'inside' );

For enabling debug mode, I might counsel utilizing the Chrome extension.

However I extremely suggest utilizing a GTM setup as a result of it’s simpler to scale, and on huge tasks, upkeep will probably be less expensive.

If you happen to like coding, at the very least you possibly can go hybrid by utilizing GTM and pushing knowledge parameters into the information layer in your web site’s customized JavaScript.


I do know what you’re considering after studying this information.

The trail to simplicity is overcomplicated – and the place it as soon as took seconds, you now should spend days organising your filters correctly.

It’s possible you’ll not even have the technical data required to implement the steps described on this information.

Nevertheless, right here is the place I might counsel utilizing ChatGPT to get further assist.

If you happen to want a distinct filter that requires further customized coding, you possibly can ask ChatGPT to code for you.

For instance, you possibly can ask it to create a JavaScript variable for GTM that returns “inside” when one visits your web site from spammy referrals and excludes spam visitors.

The precept is straightforward: You need to set a traffic_type=”some_value” parameter to no matter worth you need and exclude any hits which have traffic_type parameter set to that worth by utilizing knowledge filters.

I hope sooner or later, the Google Analytics workforce will add extra granular and person pleasant management over how one can filter your visitors, just like Common Analytics.

Extra sources: 

Featured Picture: Rajat Chamria/Shutterstock

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