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Google’s Universal Analytics Being Retired in 2023

by Justin Prinsloo

Mar 22, 2022

Close up of smartphone screen showing a Google search for Analytics

Google announced in mid-March that Google Analytics 4 is set to take the reins from Universal Analytics in July 2023

While UA has been performing admirably over the last few years – and GA4 currently still feels like an incomplete tool – the change reflects Google’s eagerness to futureproof its analytics platform.

By the time July 2023 rolls around, however, expectations are high that GA4 will be ready to step up as Google’s flagship analytics tool.

Graphic from Google's GA4 update in March 2022

Why is the Move Away from Universal Analytics Happening Now?

The prevalent factor in Google retiring UA is its diminished ability to deliver insights across user platforms – an issue that GA4 is deemed ready to address.

According to Google, customers are leaning more towards “complex, multiplatform journeys” – and tracking between each platform on a user journey is the focus of the latest evolution Analytics.

GA4 relies less on cookies – a very necessary move in light of the increasing emphasis on data privacy in the digital world. Instead, GA4 uses an event-based approach to data collection. Google also claims it offers additional privacy protection, so GA4 is more futureproof – on paper, at least.

How Can I Prepare for GA4?

In a nutshell, the sunsetting of Universal Analytics means online businesses that currently rely on it will need to move over to GA4 if they haven’t already. 

While the deadline of 1st July 2023 may feel like a while away, the timeframe is tighter than it first appears; migrating to GA4 as soon as possible will help you to accrue at least a year’s worth of data on your new GA4 property before UA is phased out.

For this reason, our search experts suggest setting up your GA4 property as soon as possible to stay ahead of the curve.

What’s the General Consensus Around GA4?

While GA4 was still being used in tandem with UA, reception for the new analytics tool was muted – GA4 has a few kinks and bugs to be worked out, as well as new features added before it functions as a true Universal Analytics successor.

A screenshot of a tweet about Google Analytics 4

With the revelation that the succession is taking place sooner than analysts might have thought, there’s been some outcry on social media. While much of it is overblown – Google has ample time to enhance the GA4 experience before it becomes the norm – many of these concerns are legitimate. Time will tell as the GA4 uptake ramps up!

For more information, be sure to check out Google’s official update.

Need Help Setting Up & Managing a Google Analytics 4 Property?

If you’re scratching your head about setting your website up in Google Analytics 4 – or struggling to get to grips with the totally new layout – we can help. Team Peaky is currently starting to shift our clients over to GA4 in preparation for July 2023, ensuring we’re ahead of the curve.

Get in touch with us today for help setting up your own GA4 property, and stay tuned to our blog for the latest news from the world of digital marketing.

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