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How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi All,

I'm  beginner and have a problem with Page Filter in Custom Reports and Dashboard widget. 

Consider set of 3 sessions. One session has "/pgX" url  pageview (not the only); two other sessions do not have. I affect pgX-session with filter:  Include >> Page >> Exact >>/pgX  in Custom Report.  I expect to see Sessions=1 as there is only one session with "/pgX" pageview, but I see Sessions=0. When I use  Exclude >> Page >> Exact >>/pgX filter I expect to see Sessions=2, but I see Sessions=3 (no filter). It seems as there is no "/pgX" pageviews at all, but in fact it is and page url is written without mistakes. The issue appear as in Custom Report as in Dashboard widget. When I use Segments (Advanced Conditions) I don’t meet such problem - all expectations meet results. Could somebody explain how page filter affects sessions? Thanks!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 2
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Hi Dmitry,

Segments allow you to include and exclude data from all your reports at session or user level, so in your case they should, and they are, working correctly.

The problem here is that you tried to put in the same report the dimension "Page" (hit level) with the metric "Session" (session level).
Those two are incompatible with each other in Google Analytics.
If you want to know how many sessions included each page, then you could look at the Unique Pageviews metric.

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Elena

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Elena, many thanks for comments

May be I don't understand your correctly, but I've said nothing about dimensions... I compared results of Page Filter and Page Segmentation. I may choose any dimension in Custom Report, not only "Page"', but Filter results on Sessions metric remain the same.

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Hi Dmitry,
I understand you created a custom report with both "page" and "sessions" in it.
Unfortunately, even though Google Analytics allows you to create a report with both "page" and session in it, the two are not compatible.
This is also the reason why GA doesnt provide, between its standard reports, any table with both "page" and "sessions" in it.
This can lead to the issue you had with filters.
The number of sessions itself in the custom report you created is probably wrong.
The filter you used will work fine for calculating the number of pageviews of those pages.

Best,

Elena

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, Elena

I understand you created a custom report with both "page" and "sessions" in it.

I can create custom report without "page" dimension. I can choose "Device Category" or "User Type" (session level dimensions)  instead, but Page  Filter works the same. 

The number of sessions itself in the custom report you created is probably wrong.

No, Sessions value is correct if I don't use Page Filter regardless of dimension choice

 

It seems that my issue is concerned with misunderstanding of principle of Filter work and I've found only several articles trying to explain it (for example). As I've understood from the article, Include >> Page >> Exact >>/pgX  filter should check all hits (pageviews, events or other) inside all sessions and leave the only hits corresponding to "/pgX" url. If session includes no hits after this procedure, it shouldn't be treated as session (no hits=no session). So, according to my conditions (in first post) I expected to see Sessions=1, but for some reason I really got Sessions=0. I can't understand the reasons...

 

Anyway thanks for trying to help

Best regards,

Dmitry


 

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆

Hi Dmitry,

if the filter you applied it was on the dimension "Page", aimed to count the number of sessions, that won't work. (Always for incompatibility reasons).

This has a lot to do with the way GA calculates the number of sessions.
GA cannot calculate the number of session basing on a "page" constraint.

From the website support.google.com:

Not every metric can be combined with every dimension. Each dimension and metric has a scope: user-level, session-level, or hit-level. In most cases, it only makes sense to combine dimensions and metrics that share the same scope. For example, Sessions is a session-based metric so it can only be used with session-level dimensions like Source or City. It would not be logical to combine Sessions with a hit-level dimension like Page.

And also:

To capture the number of sessions in which a given page was viewed, use the metric Unique Pageviews instead ofSessions.

If you use "Device Category" as a dimension and then try to filter per Device Category, then the filter will work.
e.g: Applying a filter "Include Device Category equal to "mobile"" to a report with Device Category and Sessions, will correctly give you only the number of sessions that satisfy your constraint.

Your filter (which makes use of the "page" dimension) can work fine on hit level metrics, like Pageviews and Unique Pageviews (the last one seems to be the metric designed for your specific need)

 


Best,

Elena

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Elena,
Thanks for detailed explanation. It is clear that there should be matching between scope of metric and dimension. But is it may sence to use term "dimension" in case of Filter setting? Of cource, I choose a filter name from a list that might be the same as a list of dimensions, but I'm setting a filter and not a dimension. It seems that filter is another object with its own rules and working principle. Moreover, filter is hit- scope level object  and I'v never heared about session- or user -scope filters.
It seems that I've finally found solution. According to literature , Sessions assosiated only with landing pages. If I filter a landing page I also erase session indicator (this is already my guess). So, the principle "No landing page = no session" is more common then "No hits = no sesion". After Include >> Page >> Exact >>/pgX filter, Sessions metric is the number of sessions that haven't " /pgX" as landing page. That is why Users metric (despite of it user-level scope) shows corect value, but Sessions shows wrong. I've proved this idea on my data and become happy.

But, unfortunately, my joy didn't last long. I've tried to use Events Filter and met similar demeging effect, but now on both Sessions and User metrics. Again, I have no idea about the reasons, but it should be another topic...

Anyway many thanks for comments and help

Best regards,
Dmitry

P/S. I've tried to insert referencies, but for unknown reasons I can't post a reply with hypertext...

Re: How Page Filter affects the Sessions?

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 8
Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
Hi Dmitry,

Filters can be used on both Dimensions and Metrics, and, if the report is set up correctly, you can filter in or out hits, sessions, and users with specific requirements.
For example, by the means of filters, you could have the number of sessions (a metric) where the "source/medium" (a session level dimension) is "google/cpc".

Keep in mind that, always for scope incompatibility reasons (hit vs sessions) if you are trying to obtain the number of sessions associated with the dimensions "Category", "Action" or "Label" you'll have the same problem you had with page and sessions.
The metric "Unique events" might be helpful in this case. By using this metric, events in different sessions are counted as separate events

Best,

Elena