What is Google Analytics Client id & how it is different from User id

What is Google Analytics Client id?

client id user id google analytics client id

The Google Analytics Client id is a combination of a unique random number and the first timestamp (i.e. the time of the first visit). For example: 58641932.1608012265

A Client ID represents a unique browser/device and is created and assigned by Universal Analytics cookie _ga. Client ID is assigned to each unique user of your website.

You can find the client ids through the ‘User Explorer’ report (under ‘Audience’) in your GA reporting view. 

In the context of Google Analytics, ‘Client ID’ and ‘User ID‘ are not one and the same thing.

Following are the key differences between ‘Client ID’ and ‘User ID’:

Difference #1

Client ID represents a unique browser/device.

User ID represents a unique user.

Difference #2

Client ID is created and assigned by Universal Analytics cookie _ga.

User ID is created and assigned by people like me and you.

Difference #3

Client ID is assigned to each unique user of your website.

User ID is generally assigned only to logged-in users.

Difference #4

Client ID is made up of a unique random number and the first timestamp (i.e. the time of the first visit). For example: 124562358.46738999.

User ID is made up of alphanumeric characters. It does not include the first timestamp. For example: df45346424

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Difference #5

Client ID can exist only on the device/browser on which it has been set up. Because of this attribute, a Client ID cannot be used to measure across devices.

User ID can exist across devices and browsers. Because of this attribute, a User ID can be used to measure across devices.

Difference #6

Client ID cannot accurately identify the number of unique users as a unique user can be counted multiple times when he/she switches devices/browsers.

User ID can more accurately identify the number of unique users of your website as a unique user is counted only once even if he/she switches devices/browsers.

Difference #7

The use of client ID creates attribution issues as it exists only on the device/browser on which it has been set up. Thus you can’t attribute user engagement spread across multiple devices and sessions to a single user in your GA reports.

The use of User ID helps in fixing attribution issues as it can exist across devices/browsers. Thus you can attribute user engagement spread across multiple devices and browsers to a single user in your GA reports.

Difference #8

On a single device/browser, client ID can provide a better picture of the customer purchase journey than User ID as through client ID feature you can track users and their activity from the very first time they visited your website.

Through User ID feature you can’t track users and their activity from the very first time they visited your website and before they decided to sign up and log in.

Related Articles:

Frequently Asked Questions About What is Google Analytics Client ID & how it is different from User ID?

What is Google Analytics client ID?

A Client ID represents a unique browser/device and is created and assigned by Universal Analytics cookie _ga. Client ID is assigned to each unique user of your website.

How do I find client IDs?

You can find the client IDs through the ‘User Explorer’ report (under ‘Audience’) in your GA reporting view.

Are client ID and user ID the same thing?

In the context of Google Analytics, ‘Client ID’ and ‘User ID‘ are not one and the same thing.

Client ID represents a unique browser/device and is assigned by the Universal Analytics cookie _ga to each unique user of your website.

User ID represents a unique user, is created and assigned by people like me and you and generally assigned only to logged-in users.

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