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18.03.2022 Jérôme Grad

The end of Universal Analytics

What you have to be aware of now

In October 2020, the fourth version of Google Analytics was launched. Now GA4 will finally replace its predecessor from mid 2023. In this article we explain what you need to know for the end of Universal Analytics – the third version ­– and what you should do as a website operator now.

When will Universal Analytics end? This is how you migrate to Google Analytics 4

The most important points at a glance:

  • As of July 1, 2023, no new data will be tracked with Universal Analytics (UA).
  • Data tracked until this date will be available for at least six more months. 
  • To have more data to compare, the switch from UA to GA4 before July 1, 2023 makes definitely sense.
  • You can check which version of Google Analytics you are using in your google account.
  • Don't forget to embed the new tracking code in the website once you have switched to GA4.

When will Universal Analytics end?

Google has announced the end of Universal Analytics for July 1, 2023 (as of March 16, 2022). From this date on, this property version will no longer track any new data. Data previously tracked in Universal Analytics will remain available for at least 6 months after that, according to Google – equivalent to December 31, 2023. When you data will definitely no longer will be availabe is yet to be announced.

Anyway, as of July 1, 2023, website operators must have converted their accounts to a Google Analytics 4 property for continuous tracking. 

When will data tracking for Google Analytics 360 end? 

Tracking properties for GA 360 will be discontinued as of October 1, 2023, which is three months after Universal Analytics. Again, Google's announcement (as of March 16, 2022) proposes that the data tracked up to that point will be available for at least 6 months. This would mean they will be available until March 1, 2024.

Migrating to Google Analytics 4: What to think about

First of all: don't panic. There is still plenty of time until mid-2023. However, don't postpone the migration from Universal Analytics to GA4 either to ensure a smooth transition from version 3 to version 4.

Checking the Google Analytics property

Make sure whether your GA account is running on UA (Universal Analytics) or GA4 (Google Analytics 4). You can get this information by logging into your Google Analytics account and clicking admin (gear icon) in the left column. Under the property tab you should then see your domain name and your tracking ID. This will either start with UA (for Universal Analytics) or G (for Google Analytics 4).

If you are still using UA, Google also displays a notice at the top of your screen telling you that UA is ending by 2023. 

Google Analytics 4 setup - step by step

If you are still using Universal Analytics, you can migrate to Google Analytics 4 within just a few steps.

Log in to Google Analytics

  • Log in to your Google Analytics account with your personal access data.
  • Click on admin (gear icon) in the menu on the left. Then click on »GA4 setup assistant« under the Property tab.

Create a GA4 property

  • Create a new property for Google Analytics 4 based on your Universal Analytics property.
  • If you are lacking of editing permission, find out who created the property and therefore has the authority to migrate the property to GA4.
  • To configure the GA4 property according to your needs, follow the setup assistant for the next steps.
  • Your Universal Analytics property will remain in place until Google shuts it down and will also continue to track data until July 1, 2023. You will have access to it by clicking on the the property selection or on the admin button. 

Embed Google Analytics 4 in your website

  • mplement the GA4 property on your website. In toujou, you can easily enter the GA4 tracking ID yourself. Therefore go to the settings of the toujou theme and then to the Analytics tab.
  • Other website owners should contact their hoster or agency to find out if the tracking ID or a javascript snippet is necessary. The latter can be found in the GA account by clicking on the settings in the section tracking code.

Do not switch to GA4 at the very last minute

Our advice: Don't wait until June 30, 2023 to undergo the switch. You can get familiar with GA4's new environment and way of tracking data already now. At the end of this article we have briefly summarized the differences between Universal Analytics and GA4. You can also find more information at Google.

Those interested in comparative data on an annual basis should already start with GA4 from July 1, 2022 at the latest, due to the change in data tracking. Another, additionally good idea would be to export data from previous years separately. This way, you will be able to look back at several past years at any time.

Universal Analytics vs. GA4

What does Universal Analytics stand for?

Universal Analytics (UA) is the third version of Google Analytics and is therefore also abbreviated as GA3. It was implemented in 2014 and was the standard property type of Google Analytics until October 14, 2020. The goal: not only limit user tracking to websites, but also to capture users in apps. Thus, UA enables cross-device data collection for website optimization. 

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is the fourth version of Google Analytics and thus the successor to Universal Analytics. This version was introduced by Google in October 2020.

What is the difference between Universal Analytics and GA4?

Universal Analytics has become a »phase-out« model and is therefore only available for free data tracking until June 30, 2023. GA4, on the other hand, offers a new form of data model that is no longer about sessions, but about events and parameters. Page views thus become events – and cross-platform tracking (web, app, smart TV, etc.) is then possible.

In addition, GA4 offers further innovations compared to Universal Analytics with improved data analysis thanks to artificial intelligence and anonymized IP addresses.

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