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  • Understanding Engagement Parameters in Google Analytics 4

    Posted by Isaiah on 30 October 2022 at 3:11 am

    Alright, I’m just trying to get my head around this whole engaged sessions thingy in Google Analytics 4. I noticed that when the event is logged and the session_engaged parameter is all set to 1, it’s game on, the session is engaged.

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    Now, here’s where things get a wee bit tricky. All of the conversion events we send are done via Measurement Protocol. And, GA4 describes an engaged session as a session that lasts more than 10 seconds, triggers a conversion event, or has two or more pageviews or screenviews. But, I’m scratching my head over here wondering whether our MP-sent conversion events are being counted.

    While diving into the raw data, I noticed that the conversion events sent via MP don’t have the “session_engaged” event parameter. They do have another one called engaged_session_event though.

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    I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little stumped here. I’d really appreciate if someone can shed some light on whether this mysterious second parameter makes the session an “engaged session”.

    Ethan replied 11 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Owen

    9 December 2022 at 11:39 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with your curiosity. In Google Analytics 4, the session_engaged parameter is mainly used to calculate engagement. It simply gives us a green signal when a session starts heating up, a clear way of showing that the user is involved.

    On the flip side, we have engaged_session_event. This adds a bit more context to the mix. It’s not just about knowing if a session is engaged, but also counting the number of engaged sessions the user is involved in. Interesting, huh?

    Now, while exploring the raw data, you’ve noticed that your conversion events sent by the Measurement Protocol don’t have the “session_engaged” event parameter, but they do flaunt that engaged_session_event tag. I know it’s not exactly what you expected, but hold on.

    I have a hunch, and take it with a grain of salt, that this tag might be triggered inside GA4, but isn’t exported in the raw data. That’s probably the reason why your hunt hasn’t been fruitful. You certainly are on to something there. However, when I tinker around with the engagement configurations, the only change I see is in the count of engaged sessions. Nothing else moves an inch.

    But, don’t you worry. This doesn’t make your sessions any less engaging. It’s all a part of the GA4 mystery, don’t you think?

  • Ethan

    29 March 2023 at 3:38 pm

    The confusion is understandable given the parameters being mentioned here. The engaged_session_event is typically used by Google Analytics to count the number of engaged sessions. Engaged sessions are sessions that meet specific criteria to qualify as ‘engaged’. The session_engaged event signifies the beginning of an engaged session while engaged_session_event logs each individual event within an engaged session. When it comes to your specific question about the Measurement Protocol (MP) sent conversion events – even if they don’t specifically have the session_engaged event parameter, as long as they meet the criteria for an ‘engaged session’, they should be counted. The fact that engaged_session_event is present in your MP sent events suggests that they are being logged in ‘engaged sessions’. It is recommended that you also check the documentation or consult with Google Support to confirm this and to clarify any further doubts you may have.

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