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Google Analytics Update: Better Understanding of Site Interactions

Sessions Updated

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Google announced an update to sessions in Google Analytics. The company says it will lead to a “clearer understanding of website interactions.”

As it stands now, GA ends a session when over 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor, at the end of the day, and when a visitor closes their browser. In such cases, the next pageview from the visitor will start a new session.

Now, GA will end a session when over 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor, at the end of the day, and when any traffic source value for the user changes.

Google says traffic source info includes:

  • utm_source
  • utm_medium
  • utm_term
  • utm_content
  • utm_id
  • utm_campaign
  • gclid

Update to Sessions in Google Analytics: http://t.co/fQys3IR #measure #googleanalytics 3 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Trevor Claiborne of the Google Analytics team says on the Analytics Blog:

This change only applies for visits going forward from today, and your historical data will not change. We’re bringing the definition of session in line with the common definition of a visit. If a visitor leaves your site and returns soon after with a different traffic source value, each visit will be measured with its own session.

Since Google Analytics will start new sessions for all new campaign information, sessions will now have the more accurate attribution information. This will be especially helpful if you use Multi-Channel Funnels. Additionally, by continuing a session when the user closes their browser for only a very short time, sessions will more accurately model a user’s engagement with the website. Overall, this change may slightly increase the number of visits. Based on our research, most users will see less than a 1% change.

Google also added some stuff to custom reports in Google Analytics this week. This includes 45 new metrics/dimensions, a simplified report builder and the ability to build entire groups of reports.

Google Analytics Custom Reports

Google Analytics Update: Better Understanding of Site Interactions


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  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com/ Lionel Bachmann

    This is great news. I’ve been waiting for GA to bring more features and accurate data to their reports. Now I can design custom reports for the metrics I’m interested in.

  • http://swiftecurrency.com Liberty Reserve

    I really want to learn more about this analytic of a thing, i am yet to start using it in my exchanger website..

  • http://www.netfunda.com Muzaffar

    Finally some much needed improvement to Google analytics. Now it is easier to create custom reports which I explicitly want.

  • http://www.fixpcfreeze.com Mathews

    I have been using google analytics for over 3 years. But I am yet to understand it fully. Can someone explain the setting up of goal. I read the google help but can’t figure out. What use these new updates are if I am failing to use most important feature of all the google analytics.

    • http://www.imoneycoach.com Sarah

      I agree, I don’t understand the goals function either and am not sure how to take the new changes in light of that. But it does sound like Google is trying to make it easier to track and report, which is good.

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