"WTF Is A Session?" Google Analytics Updates Their Terminology

By David Veldt - 04/18/2014

If you have accessed Google Analytics to view your website's metrics at all in the past day, you may have noticed something a little odd. Upon logging in and seeing your default Audience Overview report, where you once saw "Visits" and "Visitors," you now see "Sessions" and "Users."

Google Analytics: Sessions & Users

Google announced the change yesterday on their Analytics blog. The primary reason for the change is because they have merged their web and app reports. This merger required consistent terminology, and can be seen across all reports within Analytics. The Visitor Flow is now the Users Flow, Pages/Visit are now Pages/Session and so on.

It may be a little strange at first because we've all become accustomed to the old terminology, but personally, I love the change. Sure, the merger of app and web data is convenient, but the change in terminology makes the distinction between Sessions and Users much easier to understand for clients than Visits and Visitors.

Previously, it was all-too-easy to focus on Visits, because it was reported on first and foremost, and mentally equated to traffic, which is something that is easy to wrap your head around. Now, Sessions feels slightly (and rightfully) downplayed, whereas Users is more intriguing because it feels more personal. In other words, the change in terminology should help webmasters focus more on gaining people than gaining traffic.


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Posted in Analytics / UX

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