Google is Shutting Down its Legacy Version of Google Analytics
Google is saying farewell to Google Analytics (GA) on June 30th of this year, marking the end of an era that started in 2005 when Google first launched its popular and widely used GA, then upgraded to Universal Analytics (UA) in 2013. Google's newest analytics service GA4, will become the default version effective July 1st, 2023 marking a shift in how website analytics and user behavior are measured online.
For the better part of the past decade, marketers have been using third-party cookies to track and analyze digital campaign performance. But in a world where data privacy is a growing concern, Google announced in early 2020 that it would be phasing out these 3rd party cookies altogether, leaving many digital advertisers wondering what the future holds post "cookie-pocalypse".
In October 2020 Google Announced GA4, the newest version of analytics that would allow marketers to combine web and app data into a single dashboard using first-party cookies for reporting and analysis across multiple devices. The move to GA4 also leverages machine learning to provide a more holistic view of the customer journey across platforms and devices, something particularly important to e-commerce businesses. The key here is that users are signed into their Google accounts, and have their Ads Personalization turned on.
The key differences between GA vs GA4
- Data model: GA4 uses an event-based data model instead of a session-based model, making it more flexible and enabling it to capture data from different platforms and devices.
- User interface: The user interface of GA4 is different from the previous version and offers a more modern design with easier navigation. Users can customize the dashboard to create more specific and meaningful reports.
- Data privacy: GA4 is designed with user privacy in mind and has features that allow users to opt-out of data collection through the settings in their Google account.
- Analysis tools: GA4 provides new analysis tools, including machine learning-powered insights, more advanced funnel analysis, and predictive metrics (revenue potential, loss/acquisition, etc)
- Cross-device and cross-platform tracking: GA4 allows tracking across different devices and platforms, including mobile apps and web. This allows for a better understanding of the customer journey - whereas UA only tracks website analytics.
- Reporting: GA4 default reports show a more in-depth analysis of user behavior and user journey across different platforms, unlike GA.
Overall, GA4 is an upgrade that comes with numerous benefits that the previous version doesn't have, especially for marketers who are interested in in-depth analysis of customer behavior across multiple platforms and devices. Get started with GA4 today!
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