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  • Comparing UA and GA4 Reports: Disparity in User Metrics

    Posted by Vijay on 16 June 2023 at 5:07 pm

    Hey there! So, I’ve been using this GA4 property to track my website for some time now. Wacky thing is, when I’ve got enough data to make a fair comparison with the UA property, it appears the UA users report is like nearly two times more than the GA4 report. Interesting, right?

    I did some digging and it turns out GA4 actually leans more towards events over sessions. But, you know what? When I check out the Event tab, even that doesn’t tally up so high.

    Turns out, it’s not just me with this conundrum, I’ve come across others facing the same issue. But alas, no one seems to have figured out the answer just yet. Any ideas?

    Abdul replied 10 months, 4 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • James

    Member
    26 June 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Sure! The difference you’re seeing is because GA4 and UA track data differently. UA tracks sessions, while GA4 focuses on events. The reason the numbers may not match up is because an event isn’t equivalent to a session. So for example, if a user visits your website and performs multiple actions, UA could count that as one session, but GA4 might count it as multiple events. Hence, giving you a lower users count in GA4.

  • Abdul

    Member
    7 July 2023 at 6:56 am

    I understand your confusion because the transition from Universal Analytics (UA) to GA4 brought drastic changes in how Google Analytics collects and processes data. In UA, each page view initiates a new session, so it is more likely to count more users than GA4, which mainly focuses on event tracking. In GA4, a session starts with the first event a user triggers and ends after 30 minutes of inactivity.

    Furthermore, GA4 utilizes different methodologies for identifying and tracking users. UA employs cookies which can be deleted or blocked, resulting in over-counting users, whereas GA4 uses identifiers like User-ID or Google Signals which is more accurate but may result in fewer reported users than UA. Also, keep in mind that GA4 adjusts for spam traffic and bots, which UA does not, therefore potentially inflating the number of “users.”

    In regards to event counts, it’s important to know that not all events in GA4 equate to a session as they did in UA. Therefore, even if you’re seeing fewer overall events in GA4, it doesn’t necessarily mean fewer users visiting your website. It might be due to less frequent user interactions that trigger events, or it could be because of the differences in how GA4 recognizes and counts events.

    Lastly, if your GA4 implementation is new, it’s worth double-checking to ensure all tracking and code implementation is correct. This discrepancy could potentially be due to a tracking issue. In conclusion, while it can be counterintuitive to see different numbers in GA4 compared to Universal Analytics, it’s part and parcel of the shift towards a more user-centric, privacy-first approach to data collection and analysis.

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