Google have today announced a change in the way they calculate individual user sessions.
What have they changed?
Currently, Google Analytics ends a session when:
- More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor.
- At the end of a day.
- When a visitor closes their browser.
If any of these events occur, then the next pageview from the visitor will start a new session.
In the new model, Google Analytics will end a session when:
- More than 30 minutes have elapsed between pageviews for a single visitor. (Stays the same)
- At the end of a day. (Stays the same)
- 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.
Why have they made the change?
The change has been made to more accurately track the source, medium and campaign, etc. that the user visits from. The change is very minor, but will change the shape of the traffic sources shown in your Google Analytics account.
This change will increase the accuracy of multi-channel funnels, which helps you understand the user journey.
Is it a big deal?
No. Google estimates that this will result in less than a 1% change, so put the kettle on and chill.
*Images from searchenginejournal.com and ideachampions.com