Google is Retiring Universal Analytics

Google is notorious for its constant updates and changes, the latest being that they are now retiring Universal Analytics. In March of this year, Google announced that ‘Universal Analytics will be going away’. Where is it going you may be wondering? Well, they are replacing Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4, their next-generation measurement solution.

What to expect

Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties. After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. Luckily, Google knows that your data is important to you, and it is strongly encouraged to export your historical reports during this time.

In the coming months, Google will provide a future date for when existing Universal Analytics properties will no longer be available. After this future date, you’ll no longer be able to see your Universal Analytics reports in the Analytics interface or access your Universal Analytics data via the API.

Introducing Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

GA4 is a new property (a set of Google Analytics reports and data for your website and/or app) designed for the future of measurement.

It will:

  • Collect both website and app data to better understand the customer journey
  • Uses events instead of session-based data
  • Includes privacy controls such as cookie-less measurement, and behavioural and conversion modeling
  • Predictive capabilities offer guidance without complex models
  • Direct integrations to media platforms help drive actions on your website or app
A world with no cookies

Cookies have been used for decades to track internet users and deliver a personalised experience. They are also vital to digital marketing. However, here is the good news – we have actually been living in a cookie-less world for some time now. Both Firefox and Safari block third-party cookies already. Google is just late to the party.

But why are all major browsers no longer supporting third-party cookies? It is all about protecting privacy, ensuring transparency, and building trust. The challenge that we will have to navigate is building your audience online without them. It is important to note that first-party cookies will still work.

Check if your Google Analytics property is impacted
  • If you created your property before October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Universal Analytics property.
  • If you created your property after October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Google Analytics 4 property already, and no action is required.

If you haven’t set up your GA4 properties yet, now is the time. This will allow you to build the necessary historical data and usage in the new experience, preparing you once Universal Analytics is no longer available.

At WebEagles, our team is currently working on implementing GA4 on our client’s websites. We aim to stay up to date with all Google updates and implement these best practices within our work. For more information, contact us on 1300 123 808.