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  • Abdul

    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.