Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023) | Haran

Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023)

Google Analytics Haran Huang 1 weeks ago (01-22) 42 Views 0 Comments

The default channel report for GA4 is as follows:

Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023)

It can be seen that many Channels are different from GA3.

 

Default Channel Group

GA4 Default channel definitions are as follows:

Channel

Channel Group

Definition

Google Ads traffic

Paid Search Traffic is Google Ads
AND
Google Ads ad network type is one of (“Google Search”, “Google Partners”)
Paid Video Traffic is Google Ads
AND
Google Ads ad network type is one of (“YouTube Search”, “YouTube Videos”)
Display Traffic is Google Ads
AND
Google Ads ad network type is one of (“Google Display Network”)
Cross-network Traffic is Google Ads
AND
Google Ads ad network type is one of (“Cross-network”)
Cross-network includes Performance Max and Smart Shopping.
Paid Social Traffic is Google Ads
AND
Google Ads ad network type is one of (“Social”)

Display & Video 360 traffic

Display Traffic is DV360
AND
DV360 creative format is one of (“Standard”, “Expandable”, “Native site square”,
“Backdrop”, “Templated app install interstitial”, “Deprecated”,
“Native app install”,”Native app install square”, “Native site”,
“Templated app install”, “Lightbox”)
Paid Video Traffic is DV360
AND
DV360 creative format is one of (“Native video”, “Video”,
“Templated app install video”, “Flipbook”)
Audio Traffic is DV360
AND
DV360 creative format is one of (“Audio”)
Paid Other Traffic is DV360
AND
DV360 creative format is one of (“Publisher hosted”, “Tracking”, “Unknown”)

Search Ads 360 traffic

Paid Search SA360 engine account type is one of (“bing”, “yahoo gemini”, “yahoo.jp”,
“baidu”, “admarketplace”, “naver”, “360.cn”, “yandex
Paid Social SA360 engine account type Is one of (“facebook”, “twitter”)

Manual traffic

Direct Source exactly matches direct
AND
Medium is one of (“(not set)”, “(none)”)
Cross-network Campaign Name contains “cross-network”
Cross-network includes Performance Max and Smart Shopping.
Paid Shopping (Source matches a list of shopping sites
OR
Campaign Name matches regex ^(.*(([^a-df-z]|^)shop|shopping).*)$)
AND
Medium matches regex ^(.*cp.*|ppc|paid.*)$
Paid Search Source matches a list of search sites
AND
Medium matches regex ^(.*cp.*|ppc|paid.*)$
Paid Social Source matches a list of social sites
AND
Medium matches regex ^(.*cp.*|ppc|paid.*)$
Paid Video Source matches a list of video sites
AND
Medium matches regex ^(.*cp.*|ppc|paid.*)$
Display Medium is one of (“display”, “banner”, “expandable”, “interstitial”, “cpm”)
Organic Shopping Source matches a list of shopping sites
OR
Campaign name matches regex ^(.*(([^a-df-z]|^)shop|shopping).*)$
Organic Social Source matches a regex list of social sites
OR
Medium is one of (“social”, “social-network”, “social-media”, “sm”,
“social network”, “social media”)
Organic Video Source matches a list of video sites
OR
Medium matches regex ^(.*video.*)$
Organic Search Source matches a list of search sites
OR
Medium exactly matches organic
Email Source = email|e-mail|e_mail|e mail
OR
Medium = email|e-mail|e_mail|e mail
Affiliates Medium = affiliate
Referral Medium = referral
Audio Medium exactly matches audio
SMS Medium exactly matches sms
Mobile Push Notifications Medium ends with “push”
OR
Medium contains “mobile” or “notification”

If you want to use UTM, Source, Medium, and Campaign must use Manual traffic. If you didn’t follow the Default channel definitions rules, it will lead to division into the wrong channel.

For example:

  1. https://www.bbccss.com/index.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=summer-sale
  2. https://www.bbccss.com/index.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=summer-sale

Looking at these two UTMs, Source and Campaign are the same, but Medium is different, and will be divided into different channels, the first is divided into Paid Social, the second is divided into Organic Social.

 

You may see some special channels, their rules are as follows:

Unassigned

Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023)

According to the official documentation:  unassigned is the value Analytics uses when there are no other channel rules that match the event data

 

UTM parameters are not channel rules, such as

  • utm_source=Admin&utm_medium=Admin&urm_campaign=Admin
  • utm_source=BLOG&utm_medium=ELLA
  • utm_source=GA&utm_medium=AD_K

 

You can filter out unassigned now, and then add “First user source/medium” in the secondary dimension

Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023)

 

 

Send data through the MP  without the ga_session_id parameter, it will be classified as Unassigned

Understanding Default Channel Group in Google Analytics 4(2023)

There will be a feature here, some Engagement will be relatively low.

 

When the session is opened, the session_start event will be sent, and the UTM information is on the session_start. If the session_start is not sent, the UTM will not be set, and the channel will be Unassigned.

 

Learn more: Why Unassigned appears in GA4 Channels

 

(Other)

(other) is the value Analytics uses for an aggregated row due to cardinality limits.

 

 

Direct VS Unassigned

Some people have doubts about Direct and Unassigned, their default channel definitions rules are as follows:

  • Direct: Source exactly matches direct AND Medium is one of (“(not set)”, “(none)”),
  • Unassigned is the value Analytics uses when there are no other channel rules that match the event data

In fact, it is very easy to distinguish, direct visit is Direct, if the UTM mark is wrong, it is Unassigned.

 

It can be known from two rules:

  • Direct needs to satisfy both source and medium before it can be classified as a Direct channel.
  • Direct has a higher priority than Unassigned.

 

 

Note


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