Google Launched Analytics 4 – Is It Worth the Switch?

In mid-October, Google announced the launch of a new version of GA, called Google Analytics 4.

Setting aside all the hype, is it really worth the switch? And does it mean the old iteration of Analytics is gone for good?

Keep on reading to get all the answers.

The Low Down

Google Analytics 4
(Source: Google)

While many marketers have been excited about the new GA, as there are features that are great additions, some are worried about a few important features that have been forgotten. Google has released details, stating:

“To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.”

We took a deeper look ourselves into the new version of GA, as well as read up on some articles from Search Engine Journal, Social Media Today, and Google’s press release itself, to compile some pros and cons on the new platform:

Pros

  • Strong focus on ROI for ecommerce sites
  • Customer-centric reporting and data
  • Ability to see page meta titles in some reports
  • Smarter insights based on machine learning, instead of cookies
  • Enhanced audience insights for Google Ads
  • New funnel reporting options
  • Easier, codeless cross-domain tracking
  • Reports on views from YouTube, app, and web platform

Cons

  • Loss of standard goal tracking (it is now all event-based conversions)
  • Missing ability to see data from Google Search Console
  • Elimination of various notable areas for data in Audience, Behavior, and Conversions

Alongside some data reporting changes also came a new look and some name changes. Take a quick look below:

GA 4 Gif
(Source: Search Engine Land)

Our Thoughts

While the new version of Analytics has a lot of bells and whistles, it seems there are some gaps for specific types of business, i.e., those that are not ecommerce and cannot track purchases through their website. Not to mention, removing the old way of tracking goals, which is crucial to us and our clients, is a huge loss in our eyes.

Is the Old Iteration Going Away?

Thankfully, no. If you currently have the previous version of Google Analytics, your profile will not suddenly change. You would need to create a new property and add some new code to your site to utilize the GA 4 interface.

However, if you create a new Google Analytics account, the default profile will be this new iteration, and you will have to then create a new property and view after to see the original Analytics.

Read Up on Other Google-Related News

Here are some other blog posts we have written about concerning new releases and updates from Google:

Changes Coming to Google Ads Search Terms Report

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