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Google Signals: A Guide to Activation in GA4 Properties

Google Signals refers to session information gathered from websites and mobile applications. This data is linked to users who are signed in to their Google accounts and have enabled Ads Personalization.

By associating this data with these authenticated users, Google enables cross-device reporting, cross-device remarketing, and cross-device conversion export to Google Ads.

Table Of Content

  1. What are Google Signals?
  2. Note
  3. Data from users who have turned on Ads Personalization
  4. Data sharing with other Google products
  5. Use cases
  6. Activate Google Signals
  7. Conclusion

What are Google Signals?

What are Google Signals?

Google Signals is an analytics feature provided by Google that enables cross-device reporting and remarketing.

It works by associating session data from sites and apps that Google associates with users who have signed in to their Google accounts and who have turned on Ads Personalization.

This data is then used to create a more complete picture of how users interact with your business across multiple devices and sessions.


In Google Analytics 4, event data linked to pseudonymous cookies is exported to BigQuery. This approach can lead to the same user being counted multiple times across various devices. In contrast, Google Signals tracks users across different devices. As a result, data exported to BigQuery might indicate a higher user count when compared to reports based on Google Signals data.

Data from users who have turned on Ads Personalization

This feature allows Google to create a comprehensive understanding of user interactions with an online platform across various browsers and devices. For instance, it enables tracking users as they browse products on a website using a phone and later return to make purchases from a tablet or laptop.

By default, Google signed-in data is retained for 26 months. However, if the Analytics Data Retention setting is configured for a shorter duration, the Google signed-in data will adhere to this shorter time frame.”

Data sharing with other Google products

Data gathered through Google Signals is exclusively utilized for the purpose of delivering the Google Analytics service. It is not employed or shared for any other purpose, unless you specifically enable Data Sharing settings or choose to integrate it with other Google products.

Use cases

As a… I would like to… So I can…
Publisher Report on cross-device user counts (including 1-Day, 7-Day, 30-Day actives) Accurately report on the number of users instead of devices
Publisher Report and understand different groups of users based on the different device combinations they use Help focus my resources and efforts on the most valuable / promising set of users
Publisher Understand the customer journey across devices by analyzing user-based reports (active users, funnels, pathing) Optimize user experience for the full customer journey across devices
Marketer Report on and understand my cross-device marketing performance (e.g., channels, campaigns, etc.) Optimize ad spend based on cross-device usage
Marketer Remarket to users across devices Offer highly relevant ads based on cross-device usage

Activate Google Signals

Activate Google Signals

Activate Google Signals

To activate Google Signals for your Google Analytics 4 property, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Analytics: Log in to your Google Analytics account and click on the “Admin” button.
  2. Select the Correct Account and Property: Ensure you are in the right account and property where you want to enable Google Signals.
  3. Access Data Collection Settings: In the PROPERTY column, click on “Data Settings” > “Data Collection.”
  4. Enable Google Signals Data Collection: Toggle the switch for “Enable Google Signals Data Collection” to turn it on.
  5. Choose Collection Regions (Optional): When you activate Google Signals, data is collected in all regions by default. If you wish to limit data collection to specific regions:
    • Click on “Settings” in the section titled “Google Signals Data Collection is Allowed in X of Y Regions.”
    • Toggle the switches on or off for each region where you want to allow or disallow Google Signals data collection.
    • Click “Apply” to save your settings.

Additionally, remember that when you activate Google Signals, you must adhere to the policy requirements outlined for Google Analytics Advertising Features.


In conclusion, enabling Google Signals in Google Analytics 4 is a strategic step for comprehensive data analysis. By activating this feature, businesses gain valuable insights into user behavior across devices and regions, enhancing their marketing strategies. It is crucial to carefully configure data collection settings, ensuring compliance with policy requirements. Google Signals empowers businesses with a deeper understanding of their audience, facilitating more targeted and effective decision-making in the ever-evolving digital landscape.