Goodbye Google Analytics. Hello GA4


Kim Atkinson Ontario SEO
Kim Atkinson
April 25, 2022
Switching from Universal Analytics to GA4 – Ontario SEO

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye. In March 2022, Google made the announcement that it will stop processing new hits on properties on Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. The company is fully embracing Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and soon, you will too. With their announcement, Google finally revealed its first concrete timeline of the change to GA4.  

Moving from Universal Analytics to GA4

Russell Ketchum, product management director at Google, mentions in the announcement that Universal Analytics was built during a generation when online measurement was created for the desktop experience. It was also created at a time when observable cookie data was more easily accessed. Ketchum shares that Universal Analytics is now obsolete and the need to transition to GA4, created two years ago by Google, is necessary.

Launched in October 2020, GA4 was created with the promise of providing predictive insights, deeper integration with Google Ads and cross-device measurement capabilities. GA4 sets itself apart from its predecessor as it operates across multiple platforms, doesn’t rely on third-party cookies, and uses an event-based data model for measuring results. Another important feature in GA4 is privacy. As the platform does not store IP addresses, it can help brands comply with privacy regulations.

What This Announcement Means for You 

If you’re relying on Universal Analytics to provide you insights on your digital assets, now is time to transition to GA4. A full transition will be required from Universal Analytics to GA4 by July 1, 2023. It’s important to make this a priority as Universal Analytics will not collect new data after that date.  

If comparing year-on-year data is important to your business, you should prioritize launching your GA4 profile before July 1, 2022. This will ensure there are no gaps in your data collection during the transition period. 

Universal Analytics will still be accessible for historical analysis for at least 6 months after the data has stopped being processed. This means that you will only have access to your data from Universal Analytics until January 1, 2024. So, ensure you have your data downloaded and saved. 

How to Prepare for A GA4 Transition  

Here’s what we’re doing to prepare for the end of Universal Analytics and the start of GA4 

  • Launching GA4 properties for our clients now.  
  • Aligning Universal Analytics measurement strategy in GA4  
  • Configuring, deploying, testing data determined by that strategy   
  • Providing training on GA4 for our team members  
  • Exporting and saving historical data from Universal Analytics.  

Why We Care  

Google is sending a wake-up call to businesses that have yet to fully embrace GA4. Even though we have a year left to transition, now is the time to start the process. Configuring GA4 now will allow it to start tracking the metrics that you care about and need. Take the time to learn about the new platform and you’ll be better off when Universal Analytics is obsolete.  

Transition like these don’t have to difficult if you’re prepared. Partnering with a digital agency can make these transitions seamless. Our team of digital specialists are ready to take this off your hands and prepare you for the switch from Universal Analytics to GA4.