Update to Sessions in Google Analytics Rolled Out

Google Analytics rolled out a small change in how sessions are calculated in Analytics. "Currently, Google Analytics ends a session when - any of the following events occur, then the next pageview from the visitor will start a new session:More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor.At the end of a […]

Google Analytics rolled out a small change in how sessions are calculated in Analytics. "Currently, Google Analytics ends a session when - any of the following events occur, then the next pageview from the visitor will start a new session:

  • More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor.
  • At the end of a day.
  • When a visitor closes their browser," Trevor Claiborne of Analytics Team explained.

Now, in the new model, Claiborne says, "Analytics will end a session when - any of the events mentioned under occur, then the next pageview from the user will be the start of a new session":

  • More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor.
  • At the end of a day.
  • When any traffic source value for the user changes. Traffic source information includes: utm_source, utm_medium, utm_term, utm_content, utm_id, utm_campaign, and gclid.

"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," informs Claiborne.

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," Claiborne added.

[Source: Google Analytics]