[UA] Default channel definitions

See the rules that define each default channel.
This article is about default channel definitions in Universal Analytics. For information about default channel definitions in Google Analytics 4, go to [GA4] Default channel group.

The default system channel definitions reflect Analytics' current view of what constitutes each channel in the Default Channel Grouping. While these definitions may evolve as the market evolves, we provide the current definitions here for your information.

  • These channel definitions are case sensitive. When manually tagging URLs, use lowercase tags to ensure Analytics categorizes sessions correctly. For example, email campaigns tagged as Email do not match the system definition for the Email channel.
  • Not all dimensions allow Analytics to query associated cost data. If such dimensions are used within a Channel Grouping object, the cost data for the channel grouping can't be retrieved.
Channel Definition
Direct Source exactly matches direct AND
Medium exactly matches (not set)
Medium exactly matches (none)
Organic Search Medium exactly matches organic
Social Social Source Referral exactly matches Yes
Medium matches regex ^(social|social-network|social-media|sm|social network|social media)$
Email Medium exactly matches email
Affiliates Medium exactly matches affiliate
Referral Medium exactly matches referral
Paid Search Medium matches regex ^(cpc|ppc|paidsearch)$
Ad Distribution Network does not exactly match Content
Other Advertising Medium matches regex ^(cpv|cpa|cpp|content-text)$
Display Medium matches regex ^(display|cpm|banner)$
Ad Distribution Network exactly matches Content
(unavailable) or (other) Sessions don't match any channel description.

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