By now, I hope everyone reading this has hopped into GA4 and looked around. I’m sure a lot of you reading this have been on coaching calls with me for GA4 already!

Introducing Session Default Channel Group

In any case, you’ve probably seen the “Session default channel group” under Traffic Acquisition. These Channels can be confusing, especially if you’re more used to “source / medium”. You probably expect to see “google / organic” and “ / referral” rather than “Organic Search” and “Organic Social”.

What are Channels?

Channels are simply a way of grouping those various “source / medium” items, making them easier to understand at a glance. For example, “Organic Search” is comprised of Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc..

What do each Session Default Channel Group mean?

Google has a great resource that gives you descriptions of each one, in alphabetical order. They’re pretty self-explanatory, although some are a bit more granular.

Why I Like Channels

They’re just such an easily way to get a broad overview of what’s happening with your website traffic. Instead of listing out all the different Facebook source / mediums (,, etc.), you just see Organic Social is up 20%. So simple!

The Tricky Part: What You Need to Do

While Google Analytics automatically groups these sources into the default channels, it’s important that you follow a UTM structure that ensures each gets funneled into the proper category. I’ve already written about this subject, so be sure to check out my top tips. Google has definitions that tell you what UTM source and what UTM medium help to constitute each channel.