Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is now the default version of Google Analytics, as Universal Analytics (UA) has officially retired. UA, which was first released in 2012, served as the backbone of website data tracking for nearly a decade. However, GA4 offers a number of notable upgrades, including more insights for administrators and the ability to track cross-platform data.
Google has been warning webmasters for some time that UA would stop collecting new data on July 1, 2023. The company reiterated this on Twitter today, stating that it has begun shutting down the old standard. However, not all UA properties will immediately stop processing data. Google says that Analytics will retain access to UA properties until July 1, 2024, giving users a full year to back up their data if needed.
The retirement of UA marks the end of an era for Google Analytics. However, GA4 is a significant upgrade that offers a number of new features and capabilities. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start migrating to GA4.
Here are some of the key differences between UA and GA4:
- Data model: GA4 uses a new data model that is more flexible and scalable than the one used by UA. This allows GA4 to track more data points and provide more insights.
- Cross-platform tracking: GA4 can track data across multiple platforms, including web, mobile, and apps. This makes it easier to track the entire customer journey, from first touch to conversion.
- Machine learning: GA4 uses machine learning to provide more insights into your data. This can help you to identify trends, patterns, and opportunities that you might not have been able to see before.
If you’re still using UA, I recommend that you start migrating to GA4 as soon as possible. The retirement of UA is a significant event, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. GA4 offers a number of new features and capabilities that can help you to better understand your customers and improve your marketing campaigns.