Google Analytics 4

Why GA4 Audiences are Much Smaller in Google Ads

Why does the audience imported from #GA4 to Google Ads appear much smaller? Here are four possible reasons for that.

1) There is usually a delay in reporting between GA4 and Google Ads.

Data processing times differ, so give it some time (24 to 72 hrs) if you have only recently set up or modified the audience in GA4.

2) When you import an audience from GA4 to Google Ads, the actual audience in Google Ads may be smaller due to differing match rates.

Google Ads has specific requirements for audience sizes when it comes to targeting, which may not always match the GA4 requirements for audience sizes.

Google Ads matches users based on data like Google accounts, cookies, and device IDs.

GA4 audience size could be based on sampled or estimated data rather than exact counts.

Suppose GA4 identified users from Facebook who cannot be matched in Google’s ecosystem (due to lack of identifiable information or cross-platform privacy restrictions).

In that case, they won’t be included in your Google Ads audience.

3) Privacy regulations and individual user settings may limit the ability to track and match users across platforms.

Users who opt out of tracking or whose data cannot be shared won’t appear in your cross-platform audiences. With increasing restrictions on third-party cookies and users frequently switching between devices, discrepancies between the audience sizes of the two platforms will only increase.

We found all these insights in Himanshu Sharma’s post; he is a leading web analytics expert.

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