Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Doesn’t Suck. We Are Just Confused

Google Analytics 4 - The Future of Google Analytics

Is GA4 really all that bad? Let’s hope not because GA4 is here to stay and it’s the future of Google Analytics.

Data in Google Analytics can greatly influence your business decisions, including actions that you do in Google Ads and other marketing tools. Therefore, you want to be sure this data is correct.The next question you might ask is, which Google Analytics product should I use?  

A Brief History of Google Analytics

Google Analytics Brief History Infographic

GA4: The Future of Google Analytics

When someone mentions Google Analytics, one thing that first comes to mind is Universal Analytics or GA3. Since its introduction in 2012, GA3 has been an essential tool for digital marketers and business owners alike. We’ve been using Google Analytics 3 as the source of truth to measure digital marketing performance. However, what worries a lot of digital marketers and business owners is that GA4 will soon replace GA3 as the primary website analytics tool. Google announced in March 2022 that starting 1st July 2023, all Universal Analytics (GA3) properties will no longer process new hits. In other words, GA3 will stop working altogether and everyone will be “forced” to migrate to GA4. Two and a half years ago, Google introduced Google Analytics 4, but it received a less-than-warm welcome from the digital marketing community. Some called it “awful, unusable, and so bad it can bring you to tears,” according to an article from Search Journal. Still, despite the lacklustre reception, Google says GA4 is here to stay.

But what’s in GA4?

Google Analytics 4 Quote - Vidhya Srinivasan, VP of Measurement and Analytics at Google

According to Vidhya Srinivasan, VP of Measurement and Analytics at Google, “Because the technology landscape continues to evolve, the new Analytics (GA4) is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. GA4 uses a flexible approach to measurement and will include modelling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete”.

What does this mean?

With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 and changes in the Privacy Policy for iOS apps in 2021, websites and apps require users to consent to cookies to track website performance and app activities. Amid growing concern and pressure from different sectors concerning data privacy regulation worldwide, tech giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook are forced to adopt this development. In 2021, Apple introduced their App Tracking Transparency feature, which is expected to create a considerable drop in Facebook sales in 2022. Facebook says the Apple iOS privacy change will result in a revenue decrease to the tune of $10 billion.

Data Privacy Regulations - GDRP and Apple's App Tracking Transparency Feature Logo

For its part, Google’s GA4 was designed to solve this tracking issue by reducing the reliance on cookies to record specific events across platforms and devices. GA4 uses machine learning to “fill in the gaps” where user consent is not given for tracking, thus making it more stable to industry changes and preventing future gaps in data. Despite the tool’s unpopularity, digital marketers and business owners are now feeling the urgency to migrate existing GA3 properties to GA4.

Google Analytics 4 Course for Beginners

That is why Hackalogy is preparing to launch a beginner’s course on setting up Google Analytics 4 correctly. The course will be based on best practices that Google and other web analytics specialists recommend. We will incorporate practices that are tried, tested, and proven to work for our past and present clients. In addition, we will be sharing actionable guides that you can apply to your website immediately after one lesson. What’s more, we will share with you the easiest way to set up Google Analytics 4 goals for lead generation and e-commerce websites. Even a beginner without prior knowledge of Google Analytics and coding experience can set up goals without the help of a developer. Amazing, right?

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