Page Domain Governance and Cookie Support with the New Chrome 80 Browser
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
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.
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- Chrome 80 Release — https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/google-news-initiative/protecting-private-browsing-chrome/
- Adobe Analytics — https://www.adobe.com/analytics/adobe-analytics.html
- Compare Domains and Referring Domains Reports — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/comparing-domains-to-referring-domains-reports.html
- Exit Links — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/analytics/components/variables/dimensions-reports/reports-exit-links.html
- linkInternalFilters — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/implementation/vars/config-vars/linkinternalfilters.html
- Compare s.linkInternalFilters to Internal URL filters — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/linkinternalfilters-and-internal-url-filters.html
- How eVars work — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/how-evars-work.html
- Cross-Device Analytics — https://www.adobe.com/analytics/cross-device-analytics.html
- Virtual Report Suites — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/components/virtual-report-suites/vrs-about.html
- Flow Reports — https://docs.adobe.com/help/en/analytics/technotes/ga-to-aa/reports/behavior-reports.html
- Venn — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/analytics/analyze/analysis-workspace/visualizations/venn.html
- 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
- Use an Analytics tracking server — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/target/using/integrate/a4t/analytics-tracking-server.html
- Correctly populate the trackingServer and trackingServerSecure variable — https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/determining-data-center.html
- 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
- Adobe Experience Cloud Identity (ECID) Service — https://docs.adobe.com/content/help/en/id-service/using/home.html
- Adobe Customer Care — https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html