An attentive analytical eye will notice that a channel called cross-network appears unusually often in Google Analytics 4, which takes most of the credit. Since Google Analytics 4 went live, marketers have been wondering all the time how to properly intrepret and understand the data. No wonder, after all, in an increasing number of accounts, there is a mysterious cross-network that completely disrupts patterns and makes clear analysis difficult. What’s really behind it?

Cross-network channel

In Google Analytics 4 there were such novelties as aggregated traffic for users who rejected cookies (unassigned) but also a total novelty collecting traffic from all channels called cross-network.

According to Google definition:

Cross-network is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via ads that appear on a variety of networks (e.g., Search and Display).

The cross-network report in Google Analytics 4 is a feature that allows you to track user behavior across different marketing channels and platforms, including Google Ads, YouTube, and Display & Video 360. This report is designed to help you understand the performance of your marketing campaigns and how users interact with your brand across multiple touchpoints.

How to analyze cross-network channel?

The cross-network report provides insights into key metrics such as conversions, engagement, and revenue generated from your marketing campaigns. It also helps you identify which channels are driving the most traffic and which ones are underperforming, so you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

By using the cross-network report, you can get a holistic view of your marketing performance and optimize your campaigns to maximize your return on investment (ROI). This feature is especially useful for businesses that use multiple marketing channels to reach their target audience, as it allows them to see how each channel contributes to their overall marketing success.

Default channel grouping in Google Analytics 4

Default channel grouping in Google Analytics 4 is a pre-defined set of rules that categorizes incoming traffic to your website based on the source and medium of the traffic. By default, Google Analytics 4 groups traffic into the following channels:

  1. Organic Search: Traffic that comes from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
  2. Direct: Traffic that comes from users typing your website URL directly into the browser or from users who have bookmarked your website.
  3. Referral: Traffic that comes from other websites that link to your website.
  4. Social: Traffic that comes from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  5. Email: Traffic that comes from emails sent from your own domain or from third-party email services.
  6. Paid Search: Traffic that comes from paid search campaigns, such as Google Ads or Bing Ads.
  7. Display: Traffic that comes from display advertising campaigns, such as Google Display Network or other ad networks.
  8. Other: Traffic that does not fit into any of the above categories.


The default channel grouping in Google Analytics 4 helps you understand where your website traffic is coming from and how users interact with your website across different channels. It also helps you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and identify areas for improvement. You can use the default channel grouping as a starting point and customize it to fit your specific business needs.