Google Introduces GA4 & AdSense Integration

Great news! You can now establish links between Google Analytics 4 properties and AdSense accounts!

June 22, 2023 Great news! You can now establish links between Google Analytics 4 properties and AdSense accounts! By connecting your AdSense account to a Google Analytics 4 property, you unlock valuable insights for optimizing your ad revenue. This integration enables easy access to your AdSense data within GA4 reports and explorations, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of website metrics like traffic sources and user behavior. Through the power of data analysis, you can identify patterns and make informed decisions to maximize your ad revenue potential.

When you link  AdSense and GA4, Analytics starts  collecting the following events automatically:

  • ad_click
  • ad_impression
  • ad_query

One thing to note is that Analytics collects each of these events for each ad on a page, which can cause an increase in the number of billable events for 360 properties.

However we think it’s worth it because it eliminates the discrepancies in reporting between Analytics and AdSense that were previously seen with the integration between these two tools.

Prerequisites

Before setting up Google AdSense integration for GA4, make sure the following prerequisites are met:

Permissions

To create or delete AdSense links in GA4, you must be an Admin in AdSense, and have the Editor role in Analytics.

Tags

Your GA4 web property must be configured to collect data. The Google tag (gtag.js) is a single tag you can add to your website to use a variety of Google products and services. Instead of managing multiple tags for different Google product accounts, you can use the Google tag across your entire website and connect the tag to multiple destinations.

 

Set up AdSense Integration for GA4

To link an Analytics property to your AdSense account:

  1. Sign in to your AdSense account.
  2. Click Account Access and authorization Google Analytics integration.
    The "Manage your Google Analytics links" page opens. Here you can:
    • View your Analytics links.
    • Create new links.
    • Delete existing links.
  3. Click +New Link.
  4. Select the property that you want to link from the list.
  5. Click Create link.
    Your property is now linked to AdSense. Note that it may take up to 24 hours for your Google Analytics account to start showing data.

How Google AdSense/GA4 Reporting Integration Works

The Google AdSense integration with GA4 requires shared IDs, automatic event collection, and data joining for optimal performance. 

Shared IDs

For AdSense integration to work effectively, GA4 and AdSense tags communicate with each other using shared IDs to match each ad impression with its corresponding GA4 event. GA4 and AdSense use tags within each web page to generate a unique ID for each event or ad impression. In web properties this is called the query_id.

Inter-tag communication ensures that logged IDs are the same between GA4 and AdSense for a single event and its corresponding ad impression. Inter-tag communication takes place synchronously as events are sent and ads are served. IDs that are logged when AdSense and GA4 are not linked or when either system is unavailable will not be shared in this integration.

Automatically Collected Events

GA4 automatically collects a specific set of events via the Google tag. AdSense integration uses the ad_impression and ad_click events to populate data in GA4. The ad_query event is used for data joining. Learn more about Automatically collected events in GA4. 

Data Joining

GA4 joins its data with AdSense log files using the shared IDs to match AdSense data with Analytics data. This integration uses the information and configuration settings available when each individual event occurs. Making changes to tagging configurations or to page dimensions in GA4 won’t affect the data displayed in GA4 reporting for past data. 

View Google AdSense data in GA4

Once you’ve set up the AdSense reporting integration, you’ll be able to see your AdSense data in GA4. Your AdSense revenue data will be available in the Monetization > Publisher ads reports and the Explorations main menu in your Google Analytics 4 property. 

(Explorations is a set of powerful audience discovery and comparison tools. With its user-friendly drag and drop feature, you can effortlessly add dimensions and metrics onto the canvas. Switch between exploration techniques and easily export your findings to Google Analytics segments and Remarketing Audiences.) 

AdSense dimensions and metrics

After you link your AdSense account with your Google Analytics 4 property,  Google AdSense traffic will be represented in the following dimensions and metrics in your Analytics reports:

Dimensions

  • Ad format (uses value of AdSense ad format dimension)
  • Ad source (uses AdSense publisher ID)
  • Ad unit (uses value of AdSense ad unit dimension)
  • Page path + query string and screen class (uses placement of AdSense ad units)

Metrics

  • Ad unit exposure (Amount of time a user is exposed to ads)
  • Publisher ad clicks (AdSense clicks)
  • Publisher ad impressions (AdSense impressions)
  • Total ad revenue (Sum of all advertising revenue, i.e., AdSense revenue + other ad revenue)

 

Data quality and discrepancies

If you notice big differences in the data shown in your AdSense account reports and the Analytics section of AdSense, it's important to double-check that the Google tag is properly set up on your website(s). This will ensure accurate tracking and reporting of your ad performance.

If the Google tag is set up correctly, and you still see data discrepancies in your AdSense and Analytics reports, they might be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Iframes: AdSense uses an iframe to serve ads. Browsers that don't support the <iframe> tag don't report an impression in Analytics. This can result in Analytics counting more pageviews than AdSense counts impressions.

  • Security software or other blocking software:  Software, such as firewalls and ad blockers, that can block content can also block AdSense impressions. Users with this type of blocking software may still be counted in Analytics, but AdSense impressions and data won't be counted in your Analytics reports.

  • New AdSense/Analytics integration: It can take up to 24 hours after you link your AdSense and Analytics accounts before data is collected. If you've recently configured your AdSense or Analytics code, or recently linked your accounts, allow 24 hours for data to appear in your reports. AdSense data that was collected before you linked your accounts will not appear in Analytics.

  • Timezone settings: If the timezones in your Analytics and AdSense accounts don't match, each product aggregates data into different time periods for the same displayed date in the reports. You can edit the property settings to change the timezone in Analytics.

  • Missing Analytics data: If any Analytics data isn't collected, for example if the tracking code didn't execute, the AdSense data associated with the missing Analytics data is not reported in Analytics.

Conclusion

By integrating GA4 with AdSense, you can gain valuable data insights that allow you to optimize your website's performance and increase ad revenue. 

However, it's important to remember that this integration can cause an increase in the number of billable events for 360 properties which can result in overage payments. 

 To get the most out of the GA4/Adsense integration, you should be aware of its benefits, drawbacks, and potential for data discrepancies. But with a clear understanding, you can make informed decisions that will greatly benefit your business.

If you need assistance with this integration or with GA4 or Adsense, we’re always here to help. Get in touch

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By integrating GA4 with AdSense, you can gain valuable data insights.

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