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  • Comparing User Numbers: GA4 Users Significantly Exceed Universal Analytics Users?

    Posted by Alexander on 11 November 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Hey there,

    So I get that there’s a bit of a difference between those two numbers. But, isn’t this gap a bit too much? My gut tells me that we’re seeing double results or something. I mean, check it out, this is the same timeframe:

    UA users: 17,748
    GA4 users: 36,179

    Got any idea why this would happen? Normally, I’d be cool with GA4 having more users, as long as it’s less than a 30% difference.

    I even tried to see if we somehow added the GA4 code twice on the website, but it’s not there. Any thoughts?

    Elijah replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • William

    7 February 2023 at 3:32 pm

    Wow, that is quite a difference between those two numbers, huh? Doesn’t really seem right, even with GA4’s tendency to count more users. And you checked for any double GA4 codes so it’s not that. Hmm…

    Let’s see, here’s a few things we can do to figure out what’s going on:

    1. Take a look at your UA property. Make sure no weird filters are messing with the numbers.
    2. Are you comparing the exact same periods for both? Worth double checking.
    3. Check all the hostnames you’ve tracked during that time. Maybe GA4 is counting some that UA isn’t?
    4. GA4 counts mobile app traffic which UA doesn’t, might that explain the difference?
    5. Try checking per section of the site. Maybe GA4 is tracking some places UA isn’t?

    After trying all of that, if we got no answers, we might be a bit stuck. It’s not like it’s easy to overcount users, it doesn’t really happen unless you’re trying to make it happen.

    Our last resort might be to use the Adswerve’s datalayer debugger extension. This bad boy should allow you to see what’s firing on your pages. Keep in mind that GA4 events are batched, so you need to dive inside the event and double check it’s not counting twice with a different client id. It’s a bit of a long shot, but with numbers this skewed, who knows?

  • Elijah

    19 April 2023 at 1:54 am

    The discrepancy could be due to GA4’s enhanced ability to track users across multiple devices and sessions as compared to UA’s more session-based approach. Also, consider the impact of timezone differences you may be based in and check your report on page views, sessions and total users. If the difference still persists, it might be due to the different definitions of ‘Users’ in GA4 and UA. Remember, UA counts ‘Total Users’ while GA4 counts ‘Active Users’, to get a comparison use the ‘Explorations’ in GA4 to find your ‘Total Users’ number.

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