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Real-time metrics in Google Universal Analytics are now “in the last 5 minutes”

Google has updated the title it uses for real-time analytics in Universal Analytics 3 to read "In the last 5 minutes". Previously this section was ti

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Google has updated the title it uses for real-time analytics in Universal Analytics 3 to read “In the last 5 minutes”. Previously this section was titled “Now” but with the introduction of Google Analytics 4, Google wanted to make the title more specific to what both were actually showing.

In the last 5 minutes. The Google Realtime Metrics title has been updated to say “In the last 5 minutes” to more accurately describe what UA3 realtime benchmarks are actually showing. Here is a screenshot of the new address:

Previously, it would have sounded like this to say “now” – which is not really now but in the last 5 minutes.

Why the change. We believe that Google made this change to help explain why UA3 real-time metrics differ from GA4 real-time metrics. UA3 real-time metrics are based on the last five minutes, while GA4 real-time metrics are based on the last thirty minutes.

Why do we care. When you see this change, don’t worry, you’re not alone – we’ve all seen this address change. But rest assured, Universal Analytics 3’s real-time metrics haven’t changed. Google makes it clear that UA3 measures the last 5 minutes and GA4 measures the last 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that UA3 and GA4 also measure traffic differently – so even if they both look at the past five minutes, it will show different numbers.

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About the author

Barry Schwartz is a contributing editor at Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX Events. He owns RustyBrick, a New York-based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular research blog on very advanced search engine marketing topics. can follow Barry on Twitter here.


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