Since launching in 2005, Google Analytics has been helping provide businesses with valuable insights into their websites. There have been several variations of the Google Analytics platform since its inception, with the latest Universal Analytics (UA) being at the helm since 2012. However, this year, Google is transitioning data from UA to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4). The reason for the switch? UA was intended for desktop web, independent sessions, and more easily observable data from cookies. 

With the shift to cross-device browsing and increasing privacy concerns from users regarding cookies, this measurement is becoming outdated. GA4, on the other hand, is designed to operate across both websites and apps, does not rely exclusively on cookies, and uses an event-based data model for a more user-centric measurement. GA4 is also designed with better privacy protection than UA, applying thresholds to data with low user counts.  

Starting July 1, 2023, UA (where current website analytic data is being stored) will be going away. After that time, website data will only flow into GA4 properties. If you do not set up a GA4 property now, Google will eventually auto-create a GA4 property for your website. With this change, only basic settings will be transferred. Any advanced event measurement will need to be set up manually in GA4. 

What does this mean for my business?

Google has recently sent notification emails that they recommend making the switch to GA4 now to start capturing data in the new platform and to configure GA4 to meet your specific needs. Your GA4 account will only collect data starting from the point of setup; historical data will not be backfilled.

Historical website data will be available in UA for viewing up until December 2023, but will likely not be accessible after that date. Any historical data you would like to capture from your current UA account must be manually exported prior to December 2023. 

Interested in learning more about how RobMark can help with website tracking and analytics? Do you need a new website entirely? Contact our team of web experts to get started and we can make sure your business is prepared for the GA4 switch.