Keynote: Server-side Tagging: Deliverance Or Distraction?

Simo Ahava

09:25 - 10:10

It’s been a couple of years since Server-side Google Tag Manager was introduced to the general public. Even with this lifespan, there seems to be a lack of consensus around server-side tagging and its place in the digital marketing technology stack. In this talk, Simo takes a look at the evolution of SGTM, focusing on the key features that have come to define the service. As you’ll learn, server-side tagging isn’t a be-all end-all “cure” to all tracking ailments. Out-of-the-box and in the wrong hands it can do more harm than good. But if built and maintained by a capable organization, server-side tagging can improve data quality and client-side performance without introducing compromises to things like user privacy and data security.

Simo Ahava

Co-founder - Simmer

Simo Ahava is a recognized expert on customizing web analytics and tag management solutions to improve the entire “life cycle” of data collection, processing, and reporting. His main areas of expertise lie with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, and Google has appointed him as a Google Developer Expert in these fields. He is especially interested in communication structures within organizations, as he firmly believes that communication breakdowns are the underlying cause to practically all data-related problems.

Simo is particularly invested in demystifying analytics development work, and his main focus is on increasing awareness, skills, and critical thinking around data and development.

Simo is a partner and co-founder at 8-bit-sheep, a digital services boutique. He’s also co-founder (together with Mari Ahava) of Simmer, an online learning platform for technical marketers.

Among other things, Simo writes a popular blog on all things Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager development at An experienced speaker and prolific blogger, Simo can be seen and heard in conferences, product forums, support communities, and developer meet-ups alike.