On 1, July 2023, one of its most common instances of Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) will be going away.
Now I’ll admit that even though I use Google Analytics every day, I wasn’t sure what any of this meant. Do we use Universal Analytics? What exactly is a “property”? How does Analytics 360 fit into this picture? Assuming I’m not alone in my confusion, I dove in to find out and that’s what I’m sharing today. Read on to learn:
What’s changing, why, and when
How to tell if your account will be affected
What you need to do
The simple version: Universal Analytics is getting replaced by Google Analytics 4 starting July 1, 2023.
The official announcement: Google announced that “On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. You’ll be able to see your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023. However, new data will only flow into your GA 4 properties.”
Let’s break this down:
What’s a property?
This is the website or app that you are tracking with Google Analytics. If you are currently using Universal Analytics to track your website, this would be called your “Universal Analytics property.” Once you set up GA4, you’ll have a “Google Analytics 4 property” for that same website. Because UA and GA4 are different, different reports are available to you for each property. Learn more about Google Analytics properties here
What is Google Analytics 4?
To understand exactly what GA4 is, a little Google Analytics history lesson is in order.
Google Analytics: The very first instance of Google Analytics, which came out in 2005 (when you had a Razr flip phone with your favorite song as your ringtone).
Universal Analytics (UA): The new and improved version of Google Analytics that came out in 2012 and became the default property type.
Google Analytics 360: This is a software suite that, in addition to Universal Analytics, provides Tag Manager, Optimize, Data Studio, Surveys, Attribution, and Audience Center. Came out in 2016.
Google Analytics 4: This is the latest version of Google Analytics, which came out on October 14, 2020.