Default channel grouping

Learn how Analytics classifies your traffic.

This article covers default channel grouping for Google Analytics 4 properties.

If you need information about default channel grouping for Universal Analytics properties, see this article instead.

Channel groupings are rule-based definitions of your traffic sources. In the Acquisition > Traffic acquisition report, you can select Session default channel grouping as the primary dimension so you can see your data organized according to the most common sources of traffic, like Paid Search and Direct. This lets you quickly check the performance of each of your traffic channels.

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

You cannot edit these definitions.

You can use these definitions to tag your landing-page URLs. Analytics does not enforce case sensitivity when you use these definitions.

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

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?