Google Announces Plans to Phase Out Universal Analytics by 2023

digital transformation course with tom goodwin

Google announced today that it will not be supporting Universal Analytics beyond 2023.

This means marketers will need to switch to  Google Analytics 4, launched back in 2019, if they haven't already done so.

Universal Analytics refers to the previous generation of Google Analytics, which  was the default for websites before 2020. 

Google Analytics 4 was intended to replace the more desktop focused UA, which was introduced more than a decade ago.

Since its introduction, customer journeys have become more complex, channels have multiplied, and data privacy legislation has threatened cookie based analytics. 

According to Google, all standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits (a word I haven't heard for a while) on July 1, 2023.

Google explains the move in its announcement:

"Universal Analytics was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web, independent sessions and more easily observable data from cookies. This measurement methodology is quickly becoming obsolete.

Meanwhile, Google Analytics 4 operates across platforms, does not rely exclusively on cookies and uses an event-based data model to deliver user-centric measurement."

For marketers relying on Google Analytics, which is basically the vast majority, this is wake up call to move over to GA4, as adopting GA4 well before the end of GA4 will help to build up historical data and build familiarity with the user interface.