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Google Analytics tag Reference

This document provides a detailed explanation of the code contained in the recommended Google Analytics tag and the alternate async tag.

This information is for educational purposes only, as normally the tag should be used in its minified form, as that will have the smallest performance impact on your users.

The Google Analytics tag

The following two sections show the minified and unminifed versions of the Google Analytics tag.

Minifed version

<!-- Google Analytics -->
<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');

ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-Y', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');
</script>
<!-- End Google Analytics -->

Unminifed version

<!-- Google Analytics -->
<script>
/**
 * Creates a temporary global ga object and loads analytics.js.
 * Parameters o, a, and m are all used internally. They could have been
 * declared using 'var', instead they are declared as parameters to save
 * 4 bytes ('var ').
 *
 * @param {Window}        i The global context object.
 * @param {HTMLDocument}  s The DOM document object.
 * @param {string}        o Must be 'script'.
 * @param {string}        g Protocol relative URL of the analytics.js script.
 * @param {string}        r Global name of analytics object. Defaults to 'ga'.
 * @param {HTMLElement}   a Async script tag.
 * @param {HTMLElement}   m First script tag in document.
 */
(function(i, s, o, g, r, a, m){
  i['GoogleAnalyticsObject'] = r; // Acts as a pointer to support renaming.

  // Creates an initial ga() function.
  // The queued commands will be executed once analytics.js loads.
  i[r] = i[r] || function() {
    (i[r].q = i[r].q || []).push(arguments)
  },

  // Sets the time (as an integer) this tag was executed.
  // Used for timing hits.
  i[r].l = 1 * new Date();

  // Insert the script tag asynchronously.
  // Inserts above current tag to prevent blocking in addition to using the
  // async attribute.
  a = s.createElement(o),
  m = s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];
  a.async = 1;
  a.src = g;
  m.parentNode.insertBefore(a, m)
})(window, document, 'script', '//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js', 'ga');

// Creates a default tracker with automatic cookie domain configuration.
ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-Y', 'auto');

// Sends a pageview hit from the tracker just created.
ga('send', 'pageview');
</script>
<!-- End Google Analytics -->

Alternative async tag

The following two sections show the minified and unminifed versions of the alternative async tag. See Adding analytics.js to your site for details on which code you should use.

Minified version

<!-- Google Analytics -->
<script>
window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date;
ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-Y', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');
</script>
<script async src='https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js'></script>
<!-- End Google Analytics -->

Unminified version

<!-- Google Analytics -->
<script>
// Creates an initial ga() function.
// The queued commands will be executed once analytics.js loads.
window.ga = window.ga || function() {
  (ga.q = ga.q || []).push(arguments)
};

// Sets the time (as an integer) this tag was executed.
// Used for timing hits.
ga.l = +new Date;

// Creates a default tracker with automatic cookie domain configuration.
ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-Y', 'auto');

// Sends a pageview hit from the tracker just created.
ga('send', 'pageview');
</script>

<!-- Sets the `async` attribute to load the script asynchronously. -->
<script async src='//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js'></script>
<!-- End Google Analytics -->