Creating a Standard Data Layer for the Tag Management Industry

Thursday, July 11, 2013 | 10:52 AM

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It’s been an exciting few months for Google Tag Manager. As referenced in our previous post this morning, Google Tag Manager is now serving twice the amount of traffic it was in April 2013 and we have been steadily adding features. Recently, at Google I/O, we announced that  Google Tag Manager will also work with mobile applications

This week, a consortium of companies, including IBM, Accenture and more, along with the W3C, announced they are collaborating to create a standard Data Layer.  

The data layer is a core component of Google Tag Manager and a common way for all businesses to implement tag management tools. It’s a standard way to format data within a web page.  Think of the data layer as a central way for analytics and marketing tools to communicate and share data on a web page. 


It's typically used in two ways: 1. to store data and provide a clear separation between the data and presentation layer of the page and 2. to store data when some type of user activity occurs.  The information in the data layer can then be consumed by different web technologies, like analytics tools or marketing tools, through a tag management platform.

Through the W3C community group we’re supporting the effort to standardize the format and syntax of the data layer. This will make it a lot easier for businesses to add data to HTML  and access it with different tools. An industry-wide standard will create a common way that websites and tag management tools can interact - thus making it easier on site owners.

Standards can not exist in a vacuum. They need adoption. Please take some time to learn about this effort and the specification. You can learn more about the work at the W3C Customer Experience Digital Data Standard Community Group site where you can also review the first draft of the Specification. If you’re interested in participating please join the group and help us test and refine the spec.

Posted by Brian Kuhn, Lukas Bergstrom & Justin Cutroni, Google Tag Manager Team