First of all, to be clear, I am not complaining that less and less visitors are visiting my website. My problem is very different.

In my GA4 explorer, I checked last week how many users had accessed my page between the 1st of November and the 9th of January and I obtained a total number of users of 6930 users for a specific country.

Today, I checked how many users had accessed my page between the 1st of November and the 16th of January (i.e. same period + one more week) and I obtained a total number of users of 6348 for this same country.

Why is my total number of users decreasing over time? I gave the example of a specific country, but it happens for every country in my report.

I have checked if it could come from sampling but it is written in my report that there is no sampling (the report is based on 100% of the data).

1 Answer 1


Yes, sampling does not kick in at this magnitude and even if it was millions and not thousands, you wouldn't be able to explain it with sampling. Sampling just does not impact the aggregates like that.

GA4 is a beta and really bugged, so we normally suggest, despite what Google pushes for, to ignore it for another year or two and then implement it as a parallel tool and not use its data till UA is off.

But even GA4 UI and data bugs wouldn't explain this large of a hole.

What can explain a thing like this is a simple user error. For example, you looked at sessions and now you're looking at users and expect them to be more. Or maybe you've messed up data ranges. Maybe the first time you've looked at the 1st October to the 9th of Jan, or 1st November till the 9th of Dec. Or maybe you've looked in a wrong property. Or wrong view. Or maybe a filter has been applied that limited the traffic.

What I'm saying here is it's impossible to pinpoint the bug, unless you can reproduce it or at least have screenshots.

Does it happen normally in GA4? No, it does not. Have I ever seen anything like it happen in GA4/UA/AA/Matomo? Every single time something like this happens, it's always a user error.

  • 1
    Do you really think they are going to turn UA off? Unless they migrate historical data to GA4 I don't see myself ever wanting to switch my existing properties over. Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 20:14
  • Well, that's what they scare the companies with. That's why we see such an influx of large corps implementing GA4. I think in two or three years (when GA4 starts being a viable product) Google will tell us that it officially deprecates UA and will give us like five years to switch to GA4. I don't switch any of my UA properties to GA4 yet. Moreover, I still implement UA for new sites and disregard GA4 completely.
    – BNazaruk
    Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 20:25
  • Hi, thanks for your answer. Unfortunately, I can't reproduce the problem : even by selecting the maximum date range of my webpage, the numbers are lower than what they used to be... I am sure I looked at the same data type because I have created a custom report in the explorer to get my statistics every week and all I change is the date range.
    – Patrick J
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 17:04
  • Maybe you've made a mistake in the range. Or looked at a different report. Well, pay attention to it. If it happens again, then you want to work towards reproducing it.
    – BNazaruk
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 20:08
  • OK, I found where the values differ, but I don't know why : The total number of active users is greater when I look at the demographic data in the "Reports" tab, when compared to the number of users in the "Explorer" tab. I confirm that there are no filters in my custom report in the "Explorer" tab.<
    – Patrick J
    Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 8:08

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