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Can I re-purpose GA Custom Variables?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,
I am using the following 5 custom variables on my website. I want to re-purpose the "Author" custom variable to now send my website "Section" information to Google Analytics.

 

pageTracker._setCustomVar(1,"Author",author,3);
pageTracker._setCustomVar(2,"GUID",guid,3);
pageTracker._setCustomVar(3,"Type",type,3);
pageTracker._setCustomVar(4,"Published",published,3);
pageTracker._setCustomVar(5,"Taxonomy",type,3);

I no longer want to send "Author" information to Google Analytics. Should I just rename the first line to pass "Section" information? E.g.
pageTracker._setCustomVar(1,"Section",section,3);

So going forward I want to send "Section" information to Google Analytics. I don't care about past "Author" information that may be stored in Google Analytics? Will this cause "Author" and "Section" values to get mixed up in the reports? Would this cause any other issues?

Many thanks for your help.


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Can I re-purpose GA Custom Variables?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi,

you should be fine just renaming the custom variable. Old author data should remain in the historical data.
However there are so many ifs and buts regarding reporting that I have to throw standard disclaimers here.
Maybe someone else who have played more with CustomVars can confirm this.
--
To make bad day worse, spend it wishing for the impossible

Antti Nylund, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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