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Google Universal Analytics Service Shutdown: What Marketers & Website Owners Need to Know

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Home » Articles » Web Analytics » Google Universal Analytics Service Shutdown: What Marketers & Website Owners Need to Know

Google’s recent email announcement confirms that Universal Analytics services will shut down fully on July 1, 2024. This transition is critical for anyone still relying on UA data in some form for API connections or for conversion data relied upon by advertising platforms such as Google Ads.

Key Actions

If not already completed – migrate to GA4

Perhaps you’ve just revived a dormant web project and are just getting up to speed. In this case it would be wise to act soon and take advantage of some “auto-migration features” in Universal Analytics that will help you make the transition to GA4 quickly. Google provides a migration guide that outlines the steps necessary to make this transition smooth.

If you want to keep the old data – export Universal Analytics Data now

Before the shutdown, ensure you export your historical data from Universal Analytics. Without an export, your historical data will be irretrievably deleted. For Universal Analytics 360 users, consider using the BigQuery integration to export your data but remember that requests for historical data exports will not be accepted after June 30, 2024. With the data historical analysis and comparison will still be possible using analytics tools, however please note that this a rather advanced level undertaking and you may require the assistance of an analytics/data expert to conduct analysis later. There are also many privacy concerns, considering that the circumstances under which the original Google UA data was collected are legally questionable – GA4 data on the other hand has a number of further privacy enhancements built in from the get-go.

Impact on Marketing and Advertising

Conversions

Once Universal Analytics is phased out, any platforms which still rely on UA conversion data such as ad platforms will cease to work. You will need to re-create these conversion events in GA4 (if not already migrated) and then re-connect these conversion events to your ad platforms in order to keep things working.

Audience Targeting

Any audience lists created within Universal Analytics for ad campaigns won’t be accessible. You’ll need to build new audiences within GA4, utilising its more sophisticated machine learning capabilities to enhance targeting.

API Integrations

Tools and platforms relying on Universal Analytics APIs, including data deletion requests, will no longer function. Transition to GA4-compatible alternatives to maintain API-driven processes.

Summary

In short, if you haven’t taken action yet, now is the time to do so so you can minimise any disruption to your ads or analytics. The outlook is bright, transitioning to GA4 requires work but presents an opportunity to leverage more modern analytics capabilities with improved data privacy for users and support for enhanced cross-platform tracking. 

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