Universal Analytics is officially replaced by Google Analytics 4

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Universal Analytics is officially replaced by Google Analytics 4


Well, it’s finally happening – the dreaded Universal Analytics sunset has started.

Here in the United States, UA is still processing data, but we were greeted by an ominous message when we logged into our account this morning:

  • “This property is scheduled to stop processing data very soon. Once this goes into effect, you’ll need a Google Analytics 4 property to measure website performance.”

This warning started appearing on UA at around 7am EST, once again reminding marketers that they must migrate to Google Analytics 4 to maintain their website measurement.

Screenshot 2023 07 01 At 13.52.42 800x34

Why we care. Today’s forced migration to GA4 is a historic transitional moment in digital marketing history. Advertisers now have no choice but to use GA4 if they to track the performance of their websites and campaigns – unless they want to find an analytics alternative outside of Google of course.

How it works. Google has advised that today’s UA shutdown is being rolled out in stages which is why some marketers may still be able to access certain data. However, all properties that are still functioning are in a queue to be deleted, which will be happening on a rolling bases.

What has Google said? Google has been warning marketers that they need to migrate over to GA4 for more than a year. On Twitter and via a statement on the Analytics Help Center, Google said:

  • “Today, we begin shutting down Universal Analytics as we welcome you to Google Analytics 4.
  • “This will not happen overnight, so some Universal Analytics properties may continue to process data.
  • “However, all properties have now been added to the queue, and those that have not completed the upgrade will Jumpstart on a rolling basis.”
  • Google Analytics 4 is our next-generation measurement solution, and it has replaced Universal Analytics.”
  • “Standard Universal Analytics properties have stopped processing new data. To maintain your website measurement, you’ll need a Google Analytics 4 property.
  • “We strongly encourage you to make the switch to Google Analytics 4 as soon as possible. If you use Universal Analytics data in your Google Ads account, make sure you migrate your Universal Analytics property’s Google Ads links to your Google Analytics 4 property.

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Timeline. The shutdown of Universal Analytics is being rolled out the following stages, with the final phase set for July 2023:

  • March 2023: Google automatically created a GA4 property for marketers who didn’t opt out of the automatic property creation option. Where possible, existing site tags were used.
  • July 2023: UA stops processing hits, including standard properties in accounts that also contain 360 properties. Marketers still have access to previously processed data in their UA property until July 2024.
  • July 2024: All marketers, even those with 360 properties, will no longer have access to the UA user interface and API.

Deep dive: For more information on how to migrate to GA4, read Google’s ‘Learn how to make the switch’ guide.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book ‘Mastering In-House SEO’.

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