This article is about Google Analytics 4 properties. If you're using a Universal Analytics property, refer to the Universal Analytics section of this help center.

[GA4] Default channel grouping

Learn how Analytics classifies your traffic.
This article is for GA4 properties. Default channel grouping for Universal Analytics (UA) properties is covered in this article.

Channel groupings are rule-based definitions of your website's traffic sources that enable you to monitor the performance of all of the traffic channels coming to your website. Analytics includes several default channel groupings that can be used to tag your landing-page URLs.

When you navigate to Acquisition > Traffic acquisition you'll see that report organized by Users by Session source/medium over time by default. Use the Session source/medium drop-down menu (top left of the table) to change the primary dimension to Session by default channel grouping to see your data organized according to the most common sources of traffic, (e.g., Paid Search and Direct.) 

Alternatively, you can click Add [Add] to choose a custom dimension.

Default channel definitions

These definitions reflect Analytics' current view of what constitutes each channel. The following definitions are provided for your reference and may evolve as the market changes.

Note: channel definitions aren't case sensitive and can't be edited.


Channel Definition

Source exactly matches direct


Medium exactly matches (not set)


Medium exactly matches (none)

Organic Search Medium exactly matches organic
Paid Social

Source matches matches regex ^(internal list of social sites)$


Medium matches regex ^(cpc|ppc|paid)$

Organic Social

Source matches matches regex ^(internal list of social sites)$


Medium matches regex ^(social|social-network|social-media|sm|social network|social media)


Medium = email|e-mail|e_mail|e mail


Source = email|e-mail|e_mail|e mail


Medium = affiliate|affiliates

Referral Medium = referral
Paid Search

(GA Medium matches regex ^(cpc|ppc|paidsearch)$


GA Ad Network does not exactly match DISPLAY)


GA Ad Network exactly matches PAID_SEARCH

Video GA Ad Network exactly matches VIDEO

GA Ad Network exactly matches DISPLAY


unassigned is the value Analytics uses when there are no other channel rules that match the event data.

(other) is the value Analytics uses for an aggregated row due to cardinality limits. Learn more

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