a 'Try hard as they may to articulate GA4 as the next version of Google Analytics, it's actually a wholly new piece of software. ' Michael Grover Blog

The GA4 Switcheroo

GA4 is a totally different piece of software.

Posted by Michael Grover on Nov 03, 2022
Try hard as they may to articulate GA4 as the next version of Google Analytics, it's actually a wholly new piece of software.

Let me explain:

GA4 shares nearly no common functionality with its the current Google Analytics. Even its core measurements -- page views and sessions -- are handled in such a different way that everything you know about Google Analytics needs to be thrown out the window.

One tell-tale sign? GA4 can't share the same database as the existing Google Analytics. That's right: your analytics history is going to only go back as far as the date you start collecting data on GA4.

Google plans to keep supporting access to the old data for six months but any hopes you have of doing a year over year comparison is not possible until you've been on GA4 for over a year. (Unless you're okay with swapping back and forth between applications, that is.)

It's like a flashback to 2005.

Need another sign? The path to upgrading to GA4 requires you to create a whole new property. There's no "up" in this upgrade. Google is asking you to change horses midstream.

Now, I have no doubt that GA4 is absolutely awesome. It sure looks cool.

But, it seems to me that if your analytics vendor is going to require you to load new software, isn't the prudent and pragmatic (and responsible) course of action to review other options as well?

There are other vendors in this space who would probably love to hear from you. (Here are 14 competitors nicely summed up and summarized by Amanda Sellers.)

You could look Google's recent 9 month extension as just about the right amount of time to find a new analytics vendor.

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