The future of Google Analytics
Google has been the king of web analytics since its inception. After the acquisition of Urchin, a leading web analytics provider, in 2005, Google built Google Analytics and never bothered to look back.
History of Google Analytics
Since 2012, Google has used a system called Universal Analytics or UA. It is the backbone of Google Analytics and offers a number of benefits. UA allows site owners to assign user IDs to track specific users across multiple platforms and even across devices.
It generates really rich customer data, allows offline behavior monitoring, and in 2016, through the use of AI, even allows users to make real-time monitoring. While these are great benefits for site users, there are many concerns about the privacy of site users. Google has always prided itself on being a socially conscious group and here they seem to be frustrated.
Fortunately, in 2020, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) was launched. This is a new backbone for Google Analytics and changes a few key issues about how Google does web analytics. Significantly included in the privacy section for Google’s social image.
The G4A actually tracks more, and more detailed and compact data, although it makes it much harder for sites to give users the information they want. Google now also offers a consent mode that will further reduce the types of data that GA4 can track.
The G4A is fully compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the criteria behind web analytics privacy that the UA has failed to meet, which has been a major concern for the past few years.
All of this represents a positive change in how Google manages web analytics By July 1, 2023, UA will be phased out and replaced by GA4. This means that all existing site owners need to make the transition in time, something that takes some preparation and time. Yet, regardless of the user’s disadvantages, GA4 is the technological and social future of web analytics.