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Today, Google announced that all Universal Analytics properties will be deprecated in favor of Google Analytics 4. Any properties utilizing Universal Analytics will stop processing hits in 2023. Keep reading to learn more.
According to Google’s Twitter announcement today, Google’s next-generation measurement solution known as Google Analytics 4 (formerly known as “App + Web”) will replace Universal Analytics in mid-2023.
Two and a half years ago, we introduced Google Analytics 4 to address evolving measurement standards and help businesses succeed. Today, we’re announcing that we’ll begin sunsetting Universal Analytics next year.
— Google Analytics (@googleanalytics) March 16, 2022
Google Analytics 4, a new way to unify app and website measurement in Google Analytics, was first introduced on October 14, 2020, as discussed in this previous Justia Onward post. We also provided an overview of the notable new features and our suggestions on how to start taking advantage of its multiple functionalities.
With Universal Analytics being retired, it is crucial to understand how the shift to Google Analytics 4 will impact your firm. If you haven’t implemented Google Analytics 4 (GA4) yet, you must act fast and prepare to make the switch to using GA4.
First and foremost, know you are working against Google’s deadlines!
“All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. Given the new Analytics 360 experience was recently introduced, Universal Analytics 360 properties will receive an additional three months of new hit processing, ending on October 1, 2023.”
Will My Google Analytics Property Be Impacted?
If you are not sure whether you will be impacted by this change, it is important to identify whether you have a Universal Analytics property or a Google Analytics 4 property. For instructions on how to find your property ID, click here.
- If you created your property before October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Universal Analytics property. Universal Analytics property IDs start with UA and end with a number (UA-XXXXXXXXX-1).
- If you created your property after October 14, 2020, you’re likely using a Google Analytics 4 property already. Google Analytics 4 property IDs have only numbers (XXXXXXXXX).
What Will Happen to Your Data?
According to Google, previously processed data in Universal Analytics will remain available for at least six months after the cut-off dates, and your Universal Analytics properties will become read-only. Although you will still have access to your data and will be able to export and make data configuration changes, there will be no further data collection after the announced deadlines.
Until now, most people did not know when Universal Analytics would become obsolete, and many were hesitant to fully commit to GA4. However, this official announcement confirms that Google Analytics 4 is the new standard, so website and SEO professionals and law firms must start planning and implementing a full GA4 setup. Should you need an additional nudge to make the switch, even Google has stated this as a high-priority task.
“We strongly encourage you to make the switch to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible. Doing so will allow you to build the necessary historical data and usage in the new experience, preparing you for continuity once Universal Analytics is no longer available.”
For guidance on how to upgrade to Google Analytics 4, check out Google’s Help Center resources.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
As previously noted, this monumental change makes GA4 implementation a high priority task. You should work as quickly as possible to thoroughly implement GA4 before July 1st, 2023. This is especially important if you want to have the required data for a year-to-year comparison on core metrics after the deadline comes. Finally, if you haven’t set up your GA4 properties yet, taking advantage of the coming months to make the switch will smooth the transition process and offer you enough time to familiarize yourself with GA4’s interface and capabilities.
At Justia, we create optimized law firm websites, keep up with Google’s updates, and ensure all of our clients’ sites are technically prepared to handle the realities of Google changes. Rest assured, all Justia Elevate websites will have GA4 up and running before the deadline arrives.