Google Whisperer’s Guide to Streams in Google Analytics 4

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Google Whisperer’s Guide to Streams in Google Analytics 4

If you have been to any of my Google Whisperer webinars, attended a Google Analytics class, or read a guide, you know one of my first rules in GA is setting up proper views and filters for the cleanest data possible. With the introduction of data streams in GA 4, Google is taking everything we know about views and filters and throwing it right out the window. But don’t worry, all is not lost. This week’s Google Whisperer Guide is everything you need to do to address the changes to views and filters in GA. 

In previous versions of Google Analytics, Views were used to analyze site traffic, page performance, and user engagement. Different Views could be set up for different purposes: to see the “raw” or “unfiltered” data, to filter out bot traffic, or to make them for individual users. GA4 pivots from views to “Data Streams” to give you a greater array of options. You can create Data Streams for a website , an iOS app, or an Android app just like you have in the past. In GA4, you create all your streams (for websites and apps) in the same property. Each data stream has settings to exclude traffic referrals and identify internal traffic.

GA 4 also allows you to add multiple domains, or sub-domains, to one property. If 2 (or more) sites have the same GA4 property installed, Google will send signals each time the user goes from one domain to another. Being able to have multiple Data Streams for a single property makes it easy to see the performance of each of them.  

google analytics 4 admin

Looking at the admin section of GA 4, you will notice a stark difference: no third column for “views.” To make modifications, first click into the data stream. At the bottom of the web stream details menu will be an option for “More Tagging Settings.” 

GA 4 streams

Within that menu you can make changes to a few different parts. Add your internal IP addresses in the “Define internal traffic ”section. In Universal GA, you would have been able to apply filters to exclude IP addresses and “list unwanted referrals”. Everyone should have a series of junk sites that are blocked in filters in Universal GA. In GA 4, you can list out those URLs without having to write any expressions or code. Don’t be surprised if not all the filter options we are used to are listed here. While GA 4 is live, Google continues to publish big updates . I expect we will see more of those filter options added under Streams as time goes on.

ga 4 streams settings

If you have been following the Google Whisperer Guides to Google Analytics 4, you already have your testing GA4 property set up and can start matching your previous page load goals to new GA4 conversion events. And don’t worry. If I lost you in the land of reporting, reach out and I am happy to help anytime!  

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