Default channel group - attribution vs. traffic source


I just finished my GA beginner lesson and have one basic question regarding “default channel group” dimension - I saw we have it in “attribution” and “traffic source” → what are the difference between these two dimension?

Last edited by @shuohong.chang 2024-03-20T00:34:11Z

1 Like

Hi @shuohong.chang, great question! Hopefully we can get an expert in here soon to answer this, but here is what I could find through chat gpt for the time being:

  1. Channel Group in Attribution:
  • In attribution, a channel group typically refers to a categorization or grouping of marketing channels that are responsible for driving traffic, conversions, or other desired actions on a website or app.
  • These channels can include organic search, paid search, social media, direct traffic, referral traffic, email marketing, display advertising, etc.
  • The purpose of attributing conversions to channel groups is to understand the effectiveness of each marketing channel in contributing to conversions or other goals.
  • Attribution models, such as first-click, last-click, linear, time-decay, etc., are used to distribute credit among different channel groups based on their interactions with the user along the conversion path.
  1. Channel Group in Traffic Source:
  • In the context of analyzing traffic sources, a channel group refers to the source or origin of the traffic coming to a website or app.
  • Examples of traffic source channel groups include organic search, paid search, social media, referral traffic, direct traffic, display advertising, etc.
  • This analysis helps marketers understand where their website visitors are coming from and which channels are driving the most traffic.
  • Tools like Google Analytics often categorize incoming traffic into these channel groups automatically based on parameters like UTM parameters, referrer information, etc.

In summary, while both contexts involve categorizing marketing channels, in attribution, channel groups are used to understand the contribution of different channels to conversions, whereas in traffic source analysis, channel groups are used to analyze the origin or source of website traffic.