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  • . Can I create a random `client_id` for GA4 events if `user_id` is already included?

    Posted by Abdul on 6 April 2023 at 11:59 am

    So, I was reading through Google’s documents and it seems that for a valid http request with a GA4 event (that’s the measurement protocol, right?), we actually need to include a client_id. But here’s where it gets annoying: I’ve been including a user_id in every event already. Feels a bit like double duty to also include client_id, don’t you think? I wonder though, if I shake things up a bit and put in a fake or random client_id, could that screw anything up? I tried looking this up in Google Analytics help center, but it was a dead end. No info at all.

    Ava replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Aiden

    25 May 2023 at 10:39 am

    Okay, here’s the interesting thing I’ve found. It turns out Google Analytics (GA) doesn’t play nice with a randomly generated client_id. If you try to send two events to GA’s Debug View, one with a legitimate client_id (think something along the lines of xxxxx.xxxxx) and another one with a bogus random client_id, only the one with the real deal pops up.

    Looking again at GA4’s Measurement Protocol (MP) documentation, it appears client_id is a non-negotiable requirement while user_id is optional. This means you can’t skip sending a client_id. But, it seems unusual to me that GA isn’t cool with custom client_id. Looks like there’s still a bit more investigation needed on this topic!

  • Ava

    12 June 2023 at 2:08 am

    The inclusion of both client_id and user_id in Google’s GA4 events might seem like an overlap, however, they serve different purposes. The client_id is used by Google Analytics to identify a unique browser or device, which is important for maintaining accuracy in session tracking. The user_id instead represents the unique ID of a user as recognized on your system, useful for identifying interactions of a specific user across multiple devices or sessions. Including a fake or random client_id could potentially interfere with this tracking and lead to inaccurate data, I wouldn’t recommend it. While the Google Analytics Help Center might not have specific resources on this, understanding how these IDs are used in tracking can help clarify their significance.

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