Specifically, the way I'm reading how Google describes both, I don't understand why both metrics don't have matching numbers.

Can some describe very specifically the difference between the two and why both report different numbers?

I wasn't able to find on answer about why these two metrics don't match numbers.

1 Answer 1


Copy pasting this in (cf: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1257084?hl=en):

Analytics measures both sessions and users in your account. Sessions represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the users to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity is attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes are counted as part of the original session.

The initial session by a user during any given date range is considered to be an additional session and an additional user. Any future sessions from the same user during the selected time period are counted as additional sessions, but not as additional users.

So this last line gives a bit of explanation as to why users and sessions differ.

  • Was going to answer in my own words with a link to source but in all honesty, the above quote from Google themselves is as good and clear enough explanation as any.
    – zigojacko
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 7:21

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