Google Analytics changes
Marketing SEO

Google Analytics Ditches ‘Visits’ for ‘Sessions’!

Search engine giant Google has made subtle changes to how it refers to visits and unique visitors in Google Analytics, renaming “visits” to “sessions” and “unique visitors” to “users.”

According to an official statement from Google, the terminology change can affect brand marketers and SEOs in several ways, depending on how an account is set up and the type of data each account collects and sends to the analytics service.

Skyword Analytics example

Example of Skyword’s Google Analytics Dashboard

Google noted that the “visitors” Web metric and “active users app” metric are now included under the same name: “users.” More, “sessions” is the new term for “visits” throughout the analytics service.

So, what’s the main reason for doing this? Marketers can now collect and send all Web and app hits to one property in their Google Analytics account, gaining a better understanding of the volume of people engaging with branded websites and associated mobile applications. Google noted that users can keep Web and app data separate, but they will need to apply a relevant filter to their accounts. Also, marketers and SEOs who don’t send Web and app data to the same property in their Google Analytics accounts won’t see a change in their data reporting, but all users will see the new terminology on their dashboards.

Google also explained that until this release, many metrics and dimensions used different terminology in app views and in Web views, despite reporting on the same data. This change will hopefully add clarity to site and content analytics reporting, helping marketers make more accurate assessments of their Internet and mobile marketing strategies.

This change has already generated chatter from savvy analytics users on Google+. One user wrote: “[The change in terminology] makes more sense as we go more and more toward a cross device measurement ecosystem where mobile has no visits or unique visits.”

Another SEO who noticed the change in his dashboard wrote: “Sessions is the term I have used to describe ‘visits’ to non-analytical colleagues up-to-now anyway, so I don’t mind the change personally.”

It seems users don’t mind the udpates to their dashboards, as the changes clear up minor confusion around what’s being reporting and measured on their sites and mobile apps.

Are you seeing the terminology changes in your analytics dashboard? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at @skyword. Want more real-time SEO news updates? Subscribe to the Content Standard newsletter!

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