Send events to Google Analytics 4 using RudderStack hybrid mode.
RudderStack’s hybrid mode lets you send your event data to Google Analytics 4 via both the native SDK (device mode) and the Google Analytics 4 Measurement Protocol (cloud mode).
To use GA4 connection in hybrid mode, you can select Hybrid mode while setting up the connection modes. This option is available only for the gtag.js web SDK.
We recently updated our Google Analytics 4 hybrid mode destination to support new instrumentation options. See the release note for more information.
Why use hybrid mode?
Unlike GA Universal, GA4’s server-side tracking (cloud mode) is less independent and may require support from client-side tracking (device mode). As noted in Google’s docs, Measurement Protocol is meant to augment automatic collection via gtag, Tag Manager, and Google Analytics, not replace them.
Through a single hybrid mode deployment, you would have access to a fuller, more unified and accurate set of attribution data with the least impact on performance (resulting from a combination of client-side and server-side tracking).
Specifically, a hybrid instrumentation may make sense for those who prefer to maintain the benefits of cloud mode—including a faster site, more reliable data collection, and first-party data capture, while also capturing data required for attribution, sessionization, geolocation, and conversions for Google Ads Remarketing.
Capture attribution data
Google does not currently support passing certain reserved fields to the GA4 Measurement Protocol API. This includes information critical to attribution, such as UTM parameters. Furthermore, geographic information is only available via automatic collection from gtag. This may significantly limit your ability to use certain GA4 reporting features.
For capturing a fuller, more robust set of attribution data while using Measurement Protocol, RudderStack suggests setting up a hybrid mode connection.
How does hybrid mode work?
RudderStack sends page calls via device mode and all other calls via cloud mode. The purpose of sending page calls via device mode is to capture attribution information (such as UTM parameters) that is only available in device mode.
Further, RudderStack stitches the page call information with the rest of the cloud mode events using Google’s clientID and sessionID.
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