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  • Manual Transmission of UA Parameters like GeographicalOverride in GA4

    Posted by John on 18 September 2022 at 10:47 am

    Hey, I noticed something odd with the Google Analytics 4 Measurement Protocol reference. It doesn’t seem to have details on parameters like GeographicalOverride found in the Universal Analytics Measurement Protocol reference.

    It looks like these parameters are auto-filled as mentioned in [GA4] Analytics dimensions and metrics. But what if we want to manually enter them from a backend app?

    I’m wondering, will the Universal Analytics parameters still operate effectively as event parameters in GA4? We gave this a shot and sent them as named in Universal Analytics. They did show up in our reports, but only under their raw GET keyword name. Didn’t notice them “decoded” in report maps and filter dropdowns like ‘region’ on Lookerstudio, particularly for GeographicalOverride.

    For this, we’ve been sending Criteria ID as per the Geographical IDs guide. What’s your take on this?

    Isabella replied 11 months, 1 week ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Lily

    Member
    14 December 2022 at 9:33 am

    Sure, let me break it down.

    Instead of relying solely on the Google Analytics 4 (GA4) reference, you can actually dig into the network traffic that Google’s GA4 JavaScript sends. This allows you to see how the data is collected and what parameters are used.

    You can find this information by looking at the network tab in your browser’s developer tools and inspecting the packets sent to https://region1.google-analytics.com/g/collect.

    The data that is sent contains various parameters such as the version (v), the Google Measurement ID (tid), geo data (gcs), client ID (cid), user language (ul), and more.

    Now, here’s the interesting part. You can also send a GET request to the same URL with your own data. You can replace parameters as necessary and leave out the ones that you’re not sure about. In the example given, they were able to get their data (like screen resolution) to show up in their GA4 reports, even though this info was previously missing.

    However, the full potential of this method hasn’t been unlocked yet. They weren’t sure how to transmit information about GA4 custom dimensions and custom metrics, which could prove valuable.

    So while this doesn’t fully answer the question about Universal Analytics parameters in GA4, hopefully it gives you a new way to approach your data tracking and consider how you can augment the built-in auto-fill capabilities of the GA4 Measurement Protocol.

  • Isabella

    Member
    30 January 2023 at 7:16 am

    Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has a different set of parameters and data handling method compared to Universal Analytics. As you’ve noticed, GA4 doesn’t provide parameters like GeographicalOverride as it uses automated methods to detect geographical data. Sending Universal Analytics parameters as event parameters in GA4 can result in them appearing as raw keywords, as GA4 is not built to decode these.

    Your attempt to use ‘Criteria ID’ to specify geographical data adheres to Universal Analytics, not GA4. As of now, Google hasn’t provided a way to manually input this data in GA4. It’s recommended to conform to GA4 methods and parameters for optimal reporting results. If you have specific geography-oriented data input needs, consider providing feedback to Google about this issue. They might update GA4 or provide more resources based on user feedback and needs.

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