Skip to content

Why Google is Pulling the Plug on Universal Analytics  

With search marketers being left to shake off the inertia and adopt Google Analytics 4, many are left wondering why Google is deprecating UA.

If you ask a group of search marketers how they feel about GA4, you’ll probably get a mixed bag of responses; one of the most prominent being the overbearing ‘beta feeling’ that GA4 oozes. It’s not without saying that the benefits of GA4 are extensive but changing to a whole new way of tracking and measuring data can be a daunting move for some.

Let’s take a closer look at why Google has decided to give UA the chop.  

Why is Google sunsetting UA?

Here are 5 reasons why Google is deprecating GA3.

#1: Inability to support multi-device insights

One of the main reasons why Google is deprecating UA is because of its inability to support multi-device insights. Google speaks of how UA was built for a generation of online measurement that was anchored in the desktop web.

Anyone who has even the slightest insight into the digital marketing industry will attest to the fact that this measurement methodology is fast becoming obsolete.

#2: High dependency on cookies

Universal Analytics depends extensively on cookies. In the midst of today’s data privacy landscape and the inevitable death of the third-party cookie, this is a problem for marketers.

Google Analytics 4 doesn’t depend completely on cookies and is able to collect data in a future-proof way.

#3: Outdated measurement model

Universal Analytics uses a measurement model which is primarily based on sessions and pageviews. This measurement model worked well in the past, but it has its limits.

Google Analytics 4 uses a measurement model that is based on events and parameters which provide much more detailed information.

#4: Limited event tracking setup

In GA3, all the tracked events would have to follow the category-action-label-value schema. Don’t get us wrong, it worked for tracking events, but the setup wasn’t very flexible in its form.

Google Analytics 4 provides a far more flexible event tracking set up where users can send up to 25 parameters per event and each value can be 100 characters long. Though there is a limit of 500 unique event names per GA4 property, you can always archive events not in use if you reach that quota.

#5: No DebugView report

In UA, there was no DebugView report available. The DebugView report is one of those features that you never knew you needed until you had it.

GA4 reporting view provides a DebugView report which helps marketers validate their analytics configuration directly from the reporting interface.