Now that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is officially here. I wanted to share a hidden feature causing confusion when comparing website traffic reports in HubSpot vs. what was being shown in GA4.
For a span of a few days, there was a spike in direct traffic in HubSpot, but in GA4, I did not see the same spike. My first thought was maybe the tracking code wasn’t loading properly, or a script error prevented it from firing. But after testing those things, it all looked fine.
Then I came across this article stating that known bot traffic is automatically excluded. The article also says there is no way to turn this setting off, so you can’t make an apples-to-apples comparison to see if this is what is causing the discrepancy.
But in my case, I believe this is why the data does not match the same platforms. I also recently created a display ad campaign in Google Ads, which is notorious for sending bot traffic if not reined in.
I just thought I would share this in case you ever run into a similar data discrepancy with your data reporting. As we are both going to be diving into the hidden surprises of GA4 in the coming months ahead.