Google’s Great Analytics Eviction from UA to GA4

Google Universal Analytics will be evicting you, but they’re offering to help you relocate. 

It’s no secret that Google is forcing its users to migrate from their historic Google Analytics platform to a newly renovated GA4 solution.

This applies to the 28 million or so accounts that have graciously been using Google’s free and highly functional Analytics platform.

My colleague Jess Propst expertly wrote about the details here. However, I can’t help but associate this migration to the physical act of moving from an existing abode to a new one. But, we’re talking about millions of people here, so by all accounts and definitions, this is a mass eviction.

Google hasn’t done this without warning, nor are they leaving their users destitute without an analytics home to go to. They’ve developed a new residence for analytics data and simply shifted some of the amenities of their accommodations. Most GA users have been aware of their impending move for months and have been making preparations accordingly.

But for many procrastinators out there, they just haven’t gotten around to preparing for the move.

Pack Your Bags, Or Don't. It's Your Choice.

So in Google’s free version of analytics, they’ve made the generous offer to migrate what they’re calling “the basics” of analytics tracking to the new GA4 platform. This includes certain conversion events, Google Ads links, and existing website tags that will automatically be migrated from your old GA properties to your new GA4 residence.

While this may sound all well and good, when we equate this to the moving analogy it stirs up some potentially messy challenges.

Move Over Marie [Kondo]

The extremely popular KonMari Method™ of organization does not apply here.

As you think about how you would typically prepare for moving from one location to another, you would logically assess what you have in your existing home and which things you’d like to discard and which you’ll need going forward.

Moving house and home is an opportunity to dig into your old items to evaluate what you’ve collected and amassed over a period of time; to determine if they still have value for you.

Imagine taking a look into your wardrobe and seeing those clothes that you wore when you were a different person. You laugh thinking about your past style and how ridiculous you’d look wearing that outfit to your next social gathering.

Or let’s take a look at your storage spaces. These areas likely include remnants from your past that were once important to you but now only evoke memories of how things used to be. Old kitchen appliances from when you used to make your own bread, accessories from when you had fondue parties, or maybe you’ll find boxes full of items that simply became repetitive because they were replaced with newer, more appropriate items. In a worst case scenario, what about that box of old pictures your movers discover from when you went through “that phase”, which you may or may not regret but still tells a lot about you. Do you really want that to move with you to your new home?

Perhaps most importantly, when you look back at your old home you find that the goals that you set for yourself have changed. Whether those goals were anything from building your dream house, defining your own style, or building a better you are not the same goals that you have now. As such, simply packing up the old home and thinking that it will benefit you in the new one is flawed. It’s time to declutter and to identify what’s important to you now and why that matters.

How to Prepare for Your Impending Move to GA4

Countless words have been written on the topic of how to prepare for a life-changing event like moving home. As I’m nearing the possibility of wearing this analogy threadbare, I’ll leave you with a few closing thoughts:

  1. You can opt-out of the forced migration. Google does offer a simple way to opt-out of the forced migration, but the opt-out DEADLINE is February 28th. We recommend that all but the laziest of practitioners choose this option to allow yourself time to clean out your Google Analytics metaphoric closets.
  2. Make the time to decide what’s important to get a fresh start. As you think through what’s most important to your business and the digital properties you use to conduct it; take the time to clean house. You will undoubtedly find things that you have outgrown or simply don’t need anymore and the things that you do need will become apparent.
  3. Know that you don’t have to move alone. One of the best things about Google Analytics is the community of experts that have flourished around this amazing tool. Whether you choose to take a DIY approach, or hire professional services, resources are abundant.

If you’d like help with your impending move from GA Universal to GA4, or if you find that the free version of GA no longer meets your needs, Seer Interactive is here to help. Make the call to us and one of our experts will talk you through the migration process and help you plan, prepare, and move into your next analytics dream home.

Have you migrated to GA4 yet? Let us help you

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John Lovett
John Lovett
Vice President, Analytics