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At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

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# 1
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If over a year period a new visitor arrives, and then returns a month later, do they count as a new or returning visitor?

3 Expert replyverified_user

At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hey David, 

 

I think it depends on how soon the user returns and your settings for "campaign timeout". Assuming a user returns within the campaign timeout framework and does not delete cookies they should be counted as a returning user. 

Joshua, Rising Star
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At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star

@Bronwyn V - this is correct, right?

Joshua, Rising Star
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At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

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# 4
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@Joshua R: I agree with you. Just a note that cookie will also be expired after two years.

At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi all, 

 

returning visitor - whenever the cookie value has been recorded in a prior session a user then receives a session in the returning visitor bucket. 

 

Kind regards,

Zorin

Web analyst @ escapestudio.net

At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Sorry @Joshua R, for delayed response, yes, regarding Zorin's reply.

Bronwyn Vourtis, Google Analytics Top Contributor
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At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

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# 7
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So although a user could be a new user due to an advertising campaign, if they return to the site they will always be a returning visitor - in other words all new users are people that never returned to the site in that time frame, right?

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Accepted by topic author david c
January 2017

At what point does a "new user" become a "returning visitor"?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Hi @David C - the new vs returning issue is a bit more complex. As in this case you basically interpret User Type dimension, Sessions, New Users, Users as metrics and so on which will give you headaches with deciphering scopeSmiley Happy 

 

In any case on of the articles I find really insightful which handles this exact issue is:

https://www.e-nor.com/blog/google-analytics/google-analytics-new-labels-mystery-of-the-returning-vis...

 

In essence a User can be inside the Returning and New visitors bucket at the same time. Once a cookie is known any subsequent session leads to a user being auto bucketed to returning visitor session +1. 

 

Hope it will help. 

 

Kind regards,

Zorin

Web analyst @ escapestudio.net