Making Sense of Google Analytics Auto Migration

October 5, 2023
Making Sense of Google Ads Auto Migration Confusion - Ontario SEO

Google Analytics issued an apology for the confusion stemming from a recent account updates. Advertisers found themselves caught off guard as the platform initiated an automatic migration of configurations from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Although these changes were part of a planned transition following the retirement of Universal Analytics, some users were surprised due to the extended timeline of the Universal Analytics phase-out.

What Happened?

Google started automatically transferring configurations, such as “goals” and “audiences,” from Universal Analytics properties to advertisers’ Google Analytics 4 properties. This transfer also included conversion swapping and audience pairing in linked Google Ads accounts for opted-in properties.

For users who did not opt-out of automatically created Google Analytics 4 properties (in early Spring of 2023), Google automatically initiated migration configurations. In many cases where GA4 had been manually configured, this resulted in duplication of conversion data.

How to Identify Auto Migrated Configurations

If you missed the opt-out window to avoid having your GA4 property automatically configured, follow these steps to disconnect the property. This will avoid future issues with auto-migrated UA features:

  1. Navigate to “Admin” in your account.
  2. Choose your Universal Analytics property.
  3. In the “Property” column, access GA4 Setup Assistant.
  4. Click “Disconnect” next to your “Connected property.”
  5. Head to your GA4 property and delete it.

How to Evaluate if your Tracking Has Been Impacted by Auto-Migration

To monitor any modifications made to your GA4 property, review the “Change History” section. Changes resulting from automatic migration will be labeled as “System (Migration)” in the “Changed by” column. You will need to understand how your auto-migrated conversion tracking may overlap with your existing conversion configurations in GA4. If you manually configured your GA4 conversions, in most cases, you can simply remove the auto-migrated conversion configurations.

Limitations of the Auto Migrated Configurations

Automatically created GA4 properties come with only basic features configured. To fully optimize your new property, consider adding additional features tailored to your business needs and measurement criteria. We recommend that you review and align key metrics in your Universal Analytics (UA) property with those in your new GA4 property to ensure a close match.

For advertisers, the comparison of data between UA and Google GA4 in Google Ads can be performed in a similar fashion. This allows for a comprehensive assessment of performance across both platforms.

Review your event and conversion reports carefully to determine if your accounts have been impacted by this change. If you need a partner who stays on top of this increasing complexities of website analytics, Ontario SEO can help.