Non-Interaction Events in Google Analytics

/

You already know about event tracking in Google Analytics and using it for everything from downloads to video plays. Maybe you’re using jQuery or Google Tag Manager to capture events.

One thing to note about events is that, by default, events affect the bounce rate. That is, if a user lands on a page and an event is triggered, they are not a bounce (even if they don’t view any subsequent pages). In many cases, that’s what you want: after all, if someone engages with the page in some way, you probably don’t want to count them as a bounce any more.

However, you have control over whether those events affect bounce rate. There’s a parameter you can send with the event data to decide this called the “non-interaction” parameter. In a case where a video auto-plays when someone lands on the page, for example, we might want to set the non-interaction parameter so that the bounce rate of that page isn’t zero.

Flagging Non-Interaction Events

The code for a non-interaction event is just a single parameter you set along with the event data.

For Classic GA:

For Universal Analytics:

Using Google Tag Manager:

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.14.21 AM

Effect on Metrics

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 1.03.19 PMNon-interaction events are mostly referenced in regard to bounce rate, but they actually affect several metrics. Setting the non-interaction parameter has the following effects:

  • Bounce rate and time metrics (session duration and time on page) are no longer affected by the event.
  • The number of total events, unique events, sessions, users, etc. are counted normally.

 

Jonathan Weber is our Data Evangelist, focusing on bringing the strategic value of data analysis to our customers. He spreads the principles of analytics through our training seminars and is currently writing a book on Google Analytics & Tag Manager. Before he caught the analytics bug, he worked in information architecture. Away from the computer you can find him as a flower farmer and plant geek.

  • http://www.opace.co.uk/seo-audit-and-link-removal-service Adam

    Some useful info – thanks for sharing.

  • Tanya

    In the Google’s Developer Section, it states….

    non-interaction (optional) A boolean that when set to true, indicates that the event hit will not be used in bounce-rate calculation.

    However, above it seems that if you set it to true it will be calculated into the bounce rate calculation.

    Please clarify.

    Thanks so much!

  • http://www.lunametrics.com/ Jonathan Weber

    Yes, it’s a confusing double-negative. The default is non-interaction: false, meaning it IS an interaction that counts toward bounce rate. If you set non-interaction: true, it does NOT count toward bounce rate.

  • Anna N.

    How can I check if the non-interaction parameter gets triggered in classic GA? What do I look for in the Google Analytics Debugger? Thanks.

  • Ethan

    We recently implemented a tag for tracking a users time on site. As noted, this had a huge impact on bounce and session duration. Oddly, we saw a dramatic change in session, pages/ session and % new sessions. I looked around and believe these are all side-effect of the time on site tracking. Would setting that tag as “non-interactive hit” also exclude it from the other metrics calculations?

  • http://www.metaestudio.com @an3navarro

    Hi there,

    I’m having a strange situation on a client’s Google Analytics account and I suspect on non-interaction events. Let me paste the link from Google Analytics forum to ilustrate my problem.

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer#!msg/analytics/Aqu37S-M7_A/Ij09CXPN6eIJ

    Sure non-interaction events are not affecting time on page metrics? Can’t find an answer on Analytics documentation either.

    Thanks in advance

  • Victor Ponce

    “In a case where a video auto-plays when someone lands on the page, for example, we might want to set the non-interaction parameter so that the bounce rate of that page isn’t zero.”

    That statement is wrong. If a video auto-plays and you want to count that as an interactive event so that your bounce rate IS 0, you would want to exclude the nonInteractive parameter. You would just trigger an event without the parameter and so that there are two page events: one for the page view and one for the video view. This causes it to be excluded from the bounce calculation.

Contact Us.

LunaMetrics

24 S. 18th Street, Suite 100,
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Follow Us

1.877.220.LUNA

1.412.381.5500

getinfo@lunametrics.com

Questions?
We'll get back to you
in ONE business day.