Page Domain Governance and Cookie Support with the New Chrome 80 Browser

Jaemi Bremner
Feb 6 · 6 min read

By Zulaikha Rahman and Jody Arthur

This post builds on the information provided in our previous post on the cookie updates in the Google Chrome 80 release. Here, we provide the steps necessary for Adobe Analytics users to take to ensure their cookies will continue to provide the data they need for customers using the new Chrome 80 browser.

With the release of Google’s Chrome 80 browser in February 2020, the need for strong governance around your domains has never been so critical. Whether you have a single domain or manage several, you need to ensure you have secure, first-party cookie support. If you fail to account for all your domains, visitor identification issues will occur, breaking sessions and marketing attribution.

First perform validation checks

Performing validation checks in your Adobe Analytics account will help you identify any problems resulting from the Chrome 80 release. There are two common issues that stem from not having governance around your domain.

One problem is that one or more of your domains in the referring domain report and your page report will include “Other” as a value. This means that you have a domain hosting your Adobe Analytics library, but you have not included that domain in your internal URL filters. This is the first issue you need to address. To do that, you should review your current list of domains and document them in a data governance worksheet, adjusting any glaring omissions to ensure that all domains can be monitored in a comprehensive matter.

You should also check the referring domain report and sort by traffic and by revenue: Any internal domain will appear high in your list for traffic. And, if you use a third-party domain for payment or any transaction, it will also appear near the top of your list. You will need to adjust your Internal URL filters if you have identified any domains through this process.

If you are using automatic exit link tracking, review the domains in your exit link report to compare the values found in this variable with the values you have documented for the internal URL filters. In Adobe Analytics, automatic exit link tracking is governed through the linkInternalFilters variable. While the s.linkInternalFilters and internal URL filters operate independently and serve separate functions, Adobe Analytics documentation recommends that they match.

Make your page domain a dimension in your implementation

In order to automate and measure any domain impact on your implementation, you need to have the page domain as a dimension. To accomplish this, you will need to use a processing rule to set an eVar when the page domain is available while leaving the default visit expiration. This is a better method than a hit level expiration variable such as a prop because it allows you to account for any link tracking or video activity happening on any page. Also, if you collect URL or any other value in a custom variable, you don’t want to be reliant on classification or on any Javascript implementation. The processing rule will use the value set automatically in the image request by the Analytics library. If you collect mobile app data, simply set the App ID in the same variable. This is useful for validating visitor identification in web views and if you have access to Cross-Device Analytics.

Now that you have made the page domain available, you can go back to your page report and break down any remaining “Other” value to identify any domain you were not aware of. You can also use this value to create Virtual Report Suite, which is particularly useful if you manage international domains. Using flow reports, you can measure interactions between domains. Using venn reports, you can visualize how visitors overlap across domains.

Ensure first-party cookie support

Because of Safari ITP, we recommend you deploy a CNAME tracking to extend the Visitor ID expiration. What this means in terms of implementation is that you have values like “metrics.yourdomain.com” and “smetrics.yourdomain.com” in your trackingServer and trackingServerSecure variables. If you don’t have a CNAME in place, you would still use the default omtrdc.net value. To find these values, review your page domain report to identify how many root domains you will need to set as CNAME. The report will include all of your subdomains allowing you to simply sort by page views. Then you can filter out each domain until you have identified all root domains. For instance, if you have www.yourdomain.com, secure.yourdomain.com, and blog.yourdomain.com, filter to remove “yourdomain.com”. If you are using other root domains, they will still be present in your report.

Identifying all of your root domains is important to understand how many CNAMEs you will need to set up. If you are only using a single root domain and subdomains, identifying your root domains will be easy. However, if you are using a strategy involving one or more microsites with custom domains, it will be more challenging because you need CNAME to be on the same root domain for optimal tracking. Measuring traffic levels and conversions for each domain will help you prioritize your CNAME efforts. Once you have your list of root domains to cover, we recommend that you reach out to Adobe Customer Care.

Finally, it is important to ensure that all of your domains are set up with the ECID. To identify those that are not properly set up, review your page domain report, comparing “Unique Visitors” and “Visitors with Experience Cloud ID”. If you don’t see the metric “Visitors with Experience Cloud ID”, you will need to map your report suite to your Org ID.

Using the Adobe Experience Cloud Identity (ECID) Service and CNAMEs will ensure optimal cookie persistence with Safari and will also work with the upcoming Chrome 80 release. Else, if you are still using the legacy s_vi cookie, carefully review your situation and use the guidance provided in our article “Adobe Experience Cloud: Cookie Updates for Google Chrome”. In any case, we would encourage you to migrate to the ECID Service, since it provides better support for data collection and is a requirement for most new features and integrations.

By taking the steps outlined in this post, your cookies will continue to provide the customer data you need to continue delivering engaging content and personalized experiences to your customers after the release of Chrome 80. If you do find you have issues, Adobe Customer Care is always ready to assist.

Follow the Adobe Tech Blog for more customer and developer stories and resources, and check out Adobe Developers on Twitter for the latest news and developer products. Sign up here for future Adobe Experience Platform Meetups. For exclusive posts on Adobe Experience Platform, follow Jaemi Bremner.

References

  1. Chrome 80 Release — https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/google-news-initiative/protecting-private-browsing-chrome/
  2. Adobe Analytics — https://www.adobe.com/analytics/adobe-analytics.html
  3. Compare Domains and Referring Domains Reports — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/comparing-domains-to-referring-domains-reports.html
  4. Exit Links — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/analytics/components/variables/dimensions-reports/reports-exit-links.html
  5. linkInternalFilters — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/implementation/vars/config-vars/linkinternalfilters.html
  6. Compare s.linkInternalFilters to Internal URL filters — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/linkinternalfilters-and-internal-url-filters.html
  7. How eVars work — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/how-evars-work.html
  8. Cross-Device Analytics — https://www.adobe.com/analytics/cross-device-analytics.html
  9. Virtual Report Suites — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/components/virtual-report-suites/vrs-about.html
  10. Flow Reports — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/technotes/ga-to-aa/reports/behavior-reports.html
  11. Venn — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/analytics/analyze/analysis-workspace/visualizations/venn.html
  12. Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.x — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/target/using/implement-target/before-implement/privacy/apple-itp-2x.html
  13. Use an Analytics tracking server — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/target/using/integrate/a4t/analytics-tracking-server.html
  14. Correctly populate the trackingServer and trackingServerSecure variable — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/determining-data-center.html
  15. ECID — https://www.adobe.io/apis/experienceplatform/home/profile-identity-segmentation/profile-identity-segmentation-services.html#!api-specification/markdown/narrative/technical_overview/identity_services_architectural_overview/identity_services_ecid.md
  16. Adobe Experience Cloud Identity (ECID) Service — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/id-service/using/home.html
  17. Adobe Customer Care — https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

Jaemi Bremner

Written by

Experience Technologist. Developer Advocate for Adobe Experience Platform. Passionate about technology, architecture, fashion, and design. Twitter: @jaeness

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

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