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Google Analytics 4 Replaces Universal Analytics: Migration Timeline and next steps

In a major update, Google has announced the replacement of Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) as the next-generation measurement solution. Starting from July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process new data. Website owners are advised to transition to Google Analytics 4 properties to continue tracking and analyzing website performance effectively. Let’s explore the migration timeline and the necessary next steps for a smooth transition.

Migration Timeline

March 2023: Users who didn’t opt out of automatic property creation or manually migrate their active Universal Analytics property to a new Google Analytics 4 property will have a GA4 property created on their behalf. Google Analytics 4 properties created automatically will reuse existing site tags whenever possible.

July 1, 2023: Universal Analytics properties, including standard properties within accounts that also have 360 properties, will cease processing new hits. While some properties will continue processing data for a short period during the staged shutdown of Universal Analytics, website owners should be prepared for the eventual halt of data processing. Access to previously processed data in Universal Analytics properties will be available until July 1, 2024.

July 1, 2024: On this date, all users, including those with access to 360 properties, will lose access to the Universal Analytics user interface and API. To ensure data retention, it is recommended that users export their historical reports before this deadline.

Next Steps

Website owners are strongly encouraged to transition to Google Analytics 4 at the earliest convenience. If Universal Analytics data is utilized in a Google Ads account, the following steps should be taken

Migrate Google Ads links: Users should ensure that the Google Ads links associated with their Universal Analytics property are migrated to the Google Analytics 4 property.

Import Google Analytics 4 conversions: This step enables bidding in Google Ads to be based on data from the new Google Analytics 4 property.

Add Google Analytics 4 audiences: Incorporating Google Analytics 4 audiences into campaigns or ad groups allows for effective remarketing within Google Ads.

The replacement of Universal Analytics with Google Analytics 4 represents a significant update in website measurement. With the discontinuation of data processing in Universal Analytics properties from July 1, 2023, website owners are urged to migrate to Google Analytics 4 properties. Adhering to the migration timeline and completing the recommended next steps will ensure a seamless transition, enabling website owners to leverage the advanced features and capabilities of Google Analytics 4 for data-driven decision-making and improved marketing strategies.