Not long ago, Google announced a plan to stop processing statistics for sites that use their Universal Analytics measurements as of July 1, 2023. Although this is still over a year away, there are ramifications for everyone that uses Universal Analytics (and that is almost every one of our clients).
First of all, what Google Analytics 4 (Google’s “upgrade”) offers is not exactly the same as what Universal Analytics provides. All previous years of “analytics” will have different data points collected, different terminology, and different reports. For those of us that run annual reports for clients each year for retention, 2023’s archives will not be that comparable to 2022.
But since we do want to be able to run annual archives, it seems to us that the cut over will need to happen at the end of 2022, rather than mid-2023, for our clients. Or early 2023. There’s no reason to have 6 months of an old data set and 6 months of a new data set, particularly when Google plans to actually sunset Universal Analytics at some point and you will not be able to read the old data at all (unless you export it).
So, that is our plan, to move our clients to Google Analytics 4 by the end of January 2023.
At some point in the future I’ll post about what clients can expect in the changes in data. For many, it is not going to be an improvement, for some it may feel like a loss in value.
There may be a point where we recommend a for-fee analytics service for some customer sites. It all depends on how this plays out.