article: Understanding Why Google Analytics 4 Is Necessary

The key to understanding the difference between Universal Analytics (previously known as Google Analytics) and Google Analytics 4 is that UA had things like a Session object, and GA 4 does not. Everything becomes so much easier to understand once you realize this fact. It also becomes clear why GA 4 is needed now. More

article: Add Session Count To Google Analytics 4 Reports

It is easy to get a Session Count fields added to your Google Analytics 4 reports — just add a custom dimension for the existing event parameter! The data doesn’t start collecting until you do this, so do it now! More

article: Adding Page Count To Google Analytics 4

There are a lot of things from Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) that I miss in Google Analytics 4. Although page engagement metrics are much improved, I was frustrated by the lack of any ability to gauge the Page Depth of my visitors. Do they look at 1 page, 3 pages, or 20?  The averages just don’t tell the whole story. Here is how I added a Page Count dimension and a couple of early observations I made with the data. More

article: Reporting Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4

If you have transitioned to the new Google Analytics 4, you have probably noticed that there is no Bounce Rate metric available. Instead they push an ‘Engaged Sessions’ number, which is kind of like the opposite to a Bounce Rate. What if you really want the old metric? Well, a little math and you get your answer, but you probably won’t like it. More

article: Google Analytics 4 Report Automation

Now that the Google Analytics Data API has been released, it is possible to automate your GA4 reporting. Analytics Edge makes the process easy with a powerful add-in for Microsoft Excel and the Google Analytics Pro connector.


article: Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics 4 Sessions

As more and more people start the process of switching over to the new Google Analytics 4 for website tracking, they are discovering that the session counts are significantly different from the previous release of Google Analytics (a.k.a. Universal Analytics). My recommendation: stop focusing on sessions — focus on user engagement with your content instead.


article: Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics 4 Sessions for Pages

Since Google Analytics 4 is still under development, this is just an introductory article.

Google Analytics was plagued with custom reporting problems by mixing metrics and dimensions with different scopes  (e.g. sessions for pages). Well, even though Google Analytics 4 is very different, it shares the same problem: it has dimensions and metrics that are user-scoped, session-scoped, event(hit)-scoped, and item-scoped. More

article: Google Analytics vs GA 4: Pages Reporting Is Flawed

Comparing Google Analytics 4 page reports to the old Universal Analytics version exposes another ‘little’ difference between the measurement systems: your page titles can be shown in different languages, spread across twice as many rows (your data will vary).


article: Google Analytics vs GA 4: Sessions Spanning Midnight

Updated 2021-03-27 after a deep dive into additional metrics…

As reported in one of my Misunderstood Metrics articles, one of the quirks we discovered in Google Analytics is that sessions that span midnight are restarted on the first hit after midnight, even though the session id (and Count of Sessions dimension value) doesn’t change. But what quirks await us in Google Analytics 4?


article: Google Analytics vs GA 4: Different Cities

I dug into the detailed data behind Google Analytics 4 and compared it to the old Google Analytics we have come to know, and something popped out that was unexpected: sometimes the city being recorded for a specific user’s visit was different. More

function: Accounts – Google Big Query

For security reasons, Analytics Edge stores your account information on your computer, not in the workbooks. Accounts are stored using Reference names, and the queries use a Reference name to identify which account to use. More

function: GA4 Realtime Report

Download your data for a GA4 Realtime report. This wizard lets you select an account and GA4 property. select the fields, filters and sort criteria for the report.

GA4 Realtime reports show traffic in the last 30 minutes.


function: Read Google Sheet

This Analytics Edge wizard is used to read the data from a Google Sheets worksheet. It always reads the entire sheet. More

function: Write To Google Sheet

This Analytics Edge wizard is used to write the results of an analysis to a Google Sheets worksheet. It always overwrites the entire sheet. It can can be added as a separate macro function, or as an option from the Write to Worksheet wizard. More

function: Google Sheets – Open With Analytics Edge

In order for the Analytics Edge Add-in to show Google Sheets files and folders in the Read Google Sheets or Write to Google Sheets function wizards, you need to associate the files and folders with the Add-in. This is done in the Google Sheets web interface by selecting the files and folders you are interested in, then right clicking and selecting Open With > Analytics Edge Add-in.

A browser window should open showing this page.

Returning to the Analyics Edge Add-in, those files and folders should now be visible in the Read Google Sheets and Write to Google Sheets function wizards.


article: Exporting Universal Analytics Data

Analytics Edge has everything you need to export your Google Analytics/Universal Analytics data to Excel, Google Sheets or CSV files. This article shows how you can do it using the new Analytics Edge Desktop App, but a similar process can be followed with the Excel Add-in.


function: * Analytics Edge Desktop App

How can I help? Email:

The Analytics Edge Desktop App is a standalone application that provides spreadsheet report automation to both Google Sheets and Excel files on Windows or MacOS computers.


article: Google PageSpeed Insights API: No Connector Required

Google’s PageSpeed Insights API reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved. The service works with a simple URL request and requires only a static API key for volume use. The Read Text/Web File function in the Analytics Edge Core Add-in lets you make these types of web queries — no need for a special connector.

report: Google Search: Data Skeptic

Inspired by work provided by Britney Muller (and Masaki Okazawa) at Mozcon21 (, this workbook provides an excellent SEO analysis highlighting keyword cannibalization, performance changes and top page categories.


function: GA 4 Reporting – Options

this tab is currently disabled

The Options tab provides access to several options that affect how the Google Analytics data is presented in Excel. More

function: Google Account Login

This wizard is not seen in normal use. During a normal login sequence, a new browser window will open in front of it requesting you to login to your Google account. After you login, this wizard will close automatically. More

error: 400 bad request

This error usually appears when the combination of values in your query is not valid. More

error: 401 authError Authorization

This Google Analytics API error indicates that the security token for the account you are using has failed. Normally the security tokens are auto-renewed, but if you changed the account password or otherwise changed your security settings, the renewal can also fail. More

article: Google Analytics: Reports Limited To 25 Months?

If you find your Google Analytics reports won’t download any data beyond 25 months, chances are this is due to your data retention settings. By default, they are set to purge after 26 months.

To change this, go into your Google Analytics Admin settings for your account: Property Settings > Tracking Info > Data Retention.


article: Recreating the Google Analytics User Explorer Report

With the [undocumented] addition of the Client ID dimension to the Google Analytics API, you can now use the Analytics Edge Core Add-in and Google Analytics Pro connector to recreate the User Explorer report in Google Analytics. More

function: Google Analytics (Free) vs Google Analytics (Pro) Connector

Analytics Edge provide 2 connectors for Google Analytics: Free and Pro. For many people using the old Universal Analytics version of GA , the Google Analytics (Free) connector is all they need. The Pro connector provides many extra features, including full support for GA 360 customers as well as the new Google Analytics 4. This article describes the differences in more detail.


article: Google Analytics: API Filter Expressions

FAQ: do NOT encode the “ga:” in the field names of your expression!

Custom filter expressions can be used in the Google Analytics connectors, but there are a number of rules you must follow. This is documented in Google’s API Reference, but it is part of the old v3 API documentation, which could be removed at any time, so I have copied and embellished it here.


article: Google Search: Eliminating Noise

As discussed in a companion blog article, while trying to create an annual report for my own websites, I discovered that Google Search data is full of ‘noise’ — data that actually makes it harder to make useful observations about trends. This article includes the workbook I used.


article: Google Search: Annual Reporting

Long-term reporting with Google Search Console data is fraught with challenges. This article discusses some of the unique problems time can create, and how Analytics Edge products can save you time while solving them. More

article: Error: 401 authError Authorization

This Google Analytics API error indicates that the security token for the account you are using has failed. Normally the security tokens are auto-renewed, but if you changed the account password or otherwise changed your security settings, the renewal can also fail. More

article: Error: 400 invalidParameter ids

This Google Analytics API error indicates that you are referencing an invalid view ID. The view ID is the number that appears beside the view in the Accounts wizard (Analytics Edge connector for Google Analytics), or in the Google Analytics web interface when you click on the account selector at the top. More

article: 4 Creating Custom Reports

Analytics Edge was designed to create the customized reports people need for their website or campaign tracking needs. This video explains the common errors you may run across and what you can do about them. More

report: Google Analytics: Returning Users

This free Excel workbook gives you a full 12 month view into the number of returning users on your website, along with a breakdown by the channels they used to reach your site.  More

article: Google Analytics: New vs Returning Report

Google Analytics provides a New vs Returning report to measure the pull of your site and the extent to which you are encouraging first time users to return. Making this report with Analytics Edge allows you to easily track these metrics the way you want to see. More

article: Unsampled Data From Google Analytics For Free

Google Analytics sampling can really mess up a custom Excel report! The Free Google Analytics Connector included with all Analytics Edge Add-ins has the ability to minimize sampling problems with large sites and long time frame queries. More

article: Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics Users

Why do the Users numbers in my report not add up to the total in Google AnalyticsThis Misunderstood Metrics article explores the Users metric in Google Analytics, why the numbers are different, and why both of them are probably wrong. More

article: Google Search: Branded Versus Non-Branded

The filtering capability in Google Search Console is very restrictive (single phrase match), making it useless for separating branded from non-branded search terms in all but the simplest cases. Enter the Analytics Edge Core Add-in — a quick regular expression filter and your work is done. More

article: Google Search: Get 16 Months Of Search Data

The Google Search API now supports a full 16 months of historical data, but the only date-related field is ‘date’, so this is how to get all that data out in a meaningful way — in weekly or monthly buckets. The Google Search Connector from Analytics Edge provides a MultiQuery tab that does just what you need, and your appears in Excel in seconds! More

function: * Google Search Help

To get started with the Google Search Console connector, just add an account, then make your queries! On the Analytics Edge ribbon bar, click the Google Search button and select the Accounts menu item. More

function: * Google Analytics Help

To get started with the Google Analytics connector, just add an account, then make your queries! On the Analytics Edge ribbon bar, click the Google Analytics button (Free or Pro) and select the Accounts menu item. More

function: * Google Ads Help

To get started with the Google Ads connector, just add an account, then make your queries! On the Analytics Edge ribbon bar, click the Google Ads button and select the Accounts menu item. More

report: Google Search: Position Distribution – More Than Just An Average

The Google Search Console metric for “position” is an average, and it doesn’t tell the whole story. This report looks at the individual queries used for each of your pages over the past 12 weeks, groups them by position, and shows you the distribution of impressions and clicks by position.


article: Direct ‘Spam’ in Google Analytics

A number of my clients have seen unexplained direct traffic in their Google Analytics accounts. There is no apparent purpose or reason behind this traffic — it just exists; sometimes for a short period of time, and sometimes for months. More

article: Google Search: Download All Your Page And Query Data

Downloading your Google Search Console data into Excel is easy with Analytics Edge. The Google Search Connector uses the API to pull down all of the query and page metrics — without the 1000 or 5000 row limit imposed by the web interface. More

report: Google Search: SEO Summary Report (Premium)

Search Engine Optimization is a changing market. It’s not about keywords, it’s about topics and long-tail in aggregate. This free report summarizes your website’s appearance in search, showing the distribution of the # of keywords, impressions and clicks by position.

seo-summary-report-2 More

function: Analytics Reporting – Output

outputThe Output tab (available only in the Google Analytics Pro Connector) offers the ability to download direct to a CSV (comma-separated) file instead of returning the results to Excel. More

article: Google Analytics Premium Support

The Google Analytics Pro connector from Analytics Edge supports the extra dimensions and metrics available to Google Analytics 360 customers. It also supports the new resource quotas, allowing GA 360 customers to get unsampled reports up to 100 million sessions! More

report: Google Search: Top Queries Trend

google-webmaster-tools-top-queriesSee 10 weeks worth of Google Search Console data in one report. Analytics Edge makes it easy with this workbook and the Connector for Google Search. More

report: Google Search: SEO Results Trends

See how your content marketing or search optimization efforts have affected traffic to your site with this free Microsoft Excel report. Enter the target phrase and your account and website information, then let the Analytics Edge Core Add-in and Google Search Connector take care of the rest.



article: Definitive Guide to Removing All Google Analytics Spam

This is a PROVEN WORKING SOLUTION to remove referral spam in your Google Analytics. Updated for 2021: Bothered by referral spam from the likes of, or other domains? Implement a Custom Segment as described in #3 below or, if you catch the spam traffic on the day it happens, a Spam Crawler Filter (#4). More