Introducing long-awaited Bulk Action and Advanced Search in Google Tag Manager

by Furqan Mahmood

Have you ever been in a situation where your Google Tag Manager (GTM) contains 200+ tags and you have to pause or delete 10s of them by visiting each and every one separately? Or, you want to find a tag that has some specific configuration, and to do so,  you have to visit every element individually, leaving you in an awkward situation? The wait is finally over and the cure for this pain is now available.

Yesterday, GTM rolled out an important UI update – one that every GTM practitioner has been wishing for. Bulk Action and Advance Search were missing in the GTM and it’s not wrong to say these are long awaited basic features that could have been introduced a few years back. But, better late than never! In daily tagging practices, both of these features will be very useful, in fact, before yesterday, to achieve such functionality GTM practitioners were using chrome plugins such as Da Vinci Tools (Chrome extension). Finally, these features are natively available in GTM.

Let’s analyze what GTM has brought for us along with these features.

1 Bulk Actions.

This is a common feature we see in many tools and CMS, and being a GTM practitioner, I was personally missing it. Earlier in GTM, if you wanted to pause or delete multiple elements, you had to do it by visiting every individual element. Due to the repetition of the same task, it quickly became irritating and time-consuming. Now it’s possible in GTM to Select multiple Tags/triggers/variables and perform Bulk Action at once. For example, pause, remove, or move everything one folder. 

In the above image, all the tags are selected. Now, I will perform a bulk action to move all tags into a custom folder “GA tagging”. After clicking the folder icon as highlighted in the above screenshot, you may move those tags to the folders, see the image below for reference.

After selecting the right folder, in our case “GA tagging”, the tags will move as shown in image below:

2 Advanced Search.

Previously, to search for any element in the container, the GTM would search by name or type, and honestly, this is the least you could expect from the stature which Google Tag Manager has. Finally, GTM has introduced a real search feature which not only dives into item settings but also matches the codes or script used in Custom HTML tags or Custom JS variables. This is very impressive if someone wants to search a string which contains, for example, a 3rd party marketing pixel ID and wants to grab all elements using the same ID. Or searching for a javascript code being used in multiple elements.

If you look at the above screenshot you will notice I have performed a search with “<script>”, what container search is doing here is going into the settings and configuration of every element including Tags, Triggers, and Variables and grabbing all the elements where the string is found. Including Tag settings, to title, or type and returning the result with one Custom HTML tag: utility – clean dataLayer. On top of that, the container search also applies to templates as well.

Concluding Remarks

Although these changes may look very small,  the effectiveness in terms of providing smooth operations across Google Tag Manager in our daily lives can not be denied. Hats off to Google

Furqan Mahmood

Analytics Implementation Specialist

With more than 7 years experience working in the competitive environment of Web Development and Digital Agencies, Furqan is known as a team player as well as a solution provider.

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