_gat Cookie Review: Do We Need It?

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Websites with high traffic will always need a gatekeeper to filter out and maintain requests reasonably. Google Analytics uses cookies to maintain this balance and create a consistent performance rate. So how does the _gat cookie come into play? Why do we need it?

Google Analytics uses the _gat cookie to handle the request rates that come through high-traffic sites. Without cookies like _gat, the number of requests could overwhelm the site, causing crashes or suffering performance.

In this article, we’ll detail the function of _gat within Google Analytics and how long it lasts on a user’s browser to limit their requests.

Let’s dive in.

The _gat cookie is essential to Google Analytics’s request rate regulation system. The official role of the _gat cookie is to “throttle the request rate,” which simply means to limit the requests sent from a browser.

With _gat in place, Google Analytics can use the cookie as a marker for the browser to monitor and limit requests. The result is a manageable amount of data and a more optimized site performance.

The _gat cookie sets this limitation so that Google Analytics can use its many other cookies to collect valuable information and data for businesses.

The _gat cookie acts as a limiter for user requests so that Google Analytics can maintain a steady flow of data with a high percentage of accuracy. The _gat cookie expires every ten minutes to ensure this is possible.

Within these ten minutes, the _gat cookie marks the browser as the source of requests and allows Google Analytics to manage the data flow from that browser. Ten minutes limits the maximum number of requests from that browser.

What Captain Compliance Can Do For You

Businesses’ websites could crash without any control over the number of requests made by a given user. Platforms like Google Analytics would also struggle to maintain accuracy and control over data flow. The _gat cookie acts as a limiter on the number of requests made from a user to maintain balance.

Your business can utilize Google Analytics and cookies like _gat to maintain this balance. At Captain Compliance, we can help you successfully implement cookies while maintaining complete compliance.

We have years of compliance experience and extensive knowledge of data regulations like the GDPR and CPRA to help you protect your business. Get in touch today to learn how you can avoid large compliance fines.

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