In August, Google launched a public beta for Google Tag Manager (GTM) server-side integration. So rather than implementing a GTM container client-side in the source code of your website – the old-fashioned way – a GTM container will be placed on the server that hosts your website. Instead of being collected data from client-side integration, data will be collected and stored via your server.
What are the benefits of server-side Google Tag Manager implementation?
Some of the benefits of server-side GTM implementation are clearer than others. Here are a few that have a big impact:
Server-side GTM helps mitigate the data loss caused by ad blockers. Even if a user has consented to tracking, they may still have ad blockers turned on; ad blockers pose a risk to data collection because many of them block the ability to send Google Analytics their data. As of right now, ad blockers cannot block the server-side implementation of data collection.
Added data security is another big benefit of server-side GTM. By taking control of what data is sent to what vendor, server-side GTM implementation decreases the likelihood that personally identifiable information (PII) is leaked.
What are the downsides of server-side Google Tag Manager implementation?
Another pitfall is that if you have a client collecting a large amount of data, you will need to pay money for a place to host the server-side container. Depending on how large you need that container to be, the solution could be costly.