Google Analytics’ New Session Quality Score

How Google Analytics’ New Session Quality Score Impacts Higher Ed

Google made some product announcements you might have missed last week.


The tech giant announced that Google Optimize 360 will now have a free version that allows you to do testing on your site and mobile site. But that’s not what I’m most excited about.

Google also announced that Google Data Studio’s free version will be available in more countries. We love Google Data Studio, and I’m especially excited about the templates they promised! But that’s not what I’m most excited about.

Google said Google Tag Manager will now integrate with an additional 20 tags from Quantcast, Twitter, Microsoft Bing, Nielsen and more. And even though Google Tag Manager is one of our favorite tools, it’s still not what I’m most excited about.

[Tweet “Google is introducing a new metric called the session quality score.”]

So what’s the coolest part of this announcement? Machine learning. Google is introducing a new metric called the session quality score that taps into Google’s machine learning capabilities to predict the likelihood of a user making a transaction on a website. This is one step beyond the automated insights stream you may have noticed at the top of your Google Analytics interface.


The biggest question surrounding this new metric for higher education is how can it be utilized on websites that aren’t ecommerce focused? From the screen grab of the metric in action on the announcement blog, you see that it is not using goal conversions but actual ecommerce transactions with dollars and cents attached. This isn’t common on higher education websites. I’m curious to see how we can use it as this rolls out.

The biggest takeaway, however, is perhaps the direction in which Google is driving us. If machine learning is more frequently applied to our analytics, it will only help those of us who analyze the data. One of the biggest struggles I hear from clients is that they have all of this data… but now what? Metrics like the Session Quality Score are a step towards making the data more actionable. It will help us identify trends and potential tactics we couldn’t have seen on our own.

[Tweet “If machine learning is applied to analytics, it will help those who analyze the data.”]

New to Google Analytics? This blog post, I Have Analytics on My Site… Now What? will help you navigate all the data and reports.

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Becky Vardaman
Becky Vardaman
October 13, 2016