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Understand information in your reports and troubleshoot reporting issues such as self-referrals, (not set) data, and inaccurate information
 
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Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

 

Can someone please explain the difference between classic vs universal analytics in terms of standard session timeout?

 

Universal Analytics:

A session can last 30 minutes unless a new campaign is found. Which then starts the session again.

Source: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565?hl=en

 

Classic Analytics:

?

 

Thanks in advance

 

1 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by topic author Damien D
March 2016

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Hi Damien,

It's the same for classic except that if you wanted to adjust this it was set in the GATC (GA snippet) and not in the UI. The only exception to both is that a direct visit or referral from another site, while the session is still active, will not cause a new session to begin. The use case is 3rd party checkout, etc.

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Theo for confirming.

"The only exception to both is that a direct visit or referral from another site, while the session is still active, will not cause a new session to begin"

I have a classic GA install which counted the original source even when an affiliate website was visited during the session. The same site with Universal Analytics now classes the last referrer as the source.

Classic: Website A (Organic) -> Affiliate (Referrer) -> Website A (Organic)

Universal: Website A (Organic) -> Affiliate (Referrer) -> Website A (Referrer)

Is this correct assuming your above comment?

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star
Well it's complicated. So the referrer will not overwrite the current campaign IF the session is still active (30 minutes) and the UI is configured. So timing is critical to answering your question.. Your universal example would be true unless it all happened in one cohesive "session" on a properly configured install.

So if I come to the site via organic, then transition to a 3rd party payment gateway and come back to a thank you page -- all while the original organic session is still active -- the attribution would be to organic and not the referral as long as you took the last step and added the 3rd party payment gateway to your referral exclusion list in the property settings (tracking code).

More on that here:

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2795830?hl=en&ref_topic=6010375

I guess the takeaway for universal is that you need to configure your affiliates / 3rd party solutions in the referral exclusion list.

Does that make sense?

Best,

Theo Bennett
Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Yep - Universal all makes sense. Does the Classic example I gave above with Organic being the source attributed with data sound correct?

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Rising Star
# 6
Rising Star
Yes, but again timing is critical. If it's outside of 30 minutes, then the affiliate would be the source. Classic is easier to see as it's all exposed in the debugger if you're using the plug in for Chrome or you can just inspect the _utmz cookie as you go.

-Theo

Analytics Evangelist at MoreVisibility | Contact Me
Connect on LinkedIn

Re: Classic vs Universal Tracking - Sessions/Campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Unfortunately I'm debugging legacy tracking that doesn't exist anymore and all I have is the data difference in GA. You've been very helpful thanks