Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4

What has changed?

Google Analytics is one of the most important and widely used web analytics platforms worldwide. It allows website owners to gain valuable insights into the behavior of their users. Until July 2023, “Universal Analytics” was the common version. However, for the past six months, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has been in use. With the introduction of Google Analytics 4, Google has taken a big step to change the way we collect data about user behavior on websites and apps. But what are the key differences between Google Analytics 4 and its predecessor, Universal Analytics? In this blog post, we will highlight the key changes and improvements in GA4 compared to Universal Analytics.

What is Google Analytics Universal?

Google Analytics Universal, also known as Universal Analytics, was an earlier version of Google’s popular web analytics tool. It was introduced by Google to help website owners and companies track and analyze user behavior on their websites. Universal Analytics enabled the collection of data such as page views, sessions, user interactions and conversions. The data collected was used to gain insights into user behavior, website performance and the success of marketing campaigns.

This version of Google Analytics was widely adopted and used by businesses and website owners around the world to make data-driven decisions and optimize their online presence. Universal Analytics offered many valuable features, including tracking e-commerce transactions, setting up goals and events, and integrating other Google products.

In July 2023, Google stopped further development of Universal Analytics and instead introduced Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is considered the future-oriented version of the tool. Therefore, as of July 1, 2023, data will no longer be processed in Universal Analytics installations. Website operators should therefore have switched to GA4 long ago in order to continue using Google’s web analysis reports.

The evolution of Google Analytics?

Universal Analytics has been the common tool for website analysis for many years. It provided useful insights into user behavior and helped companies optimize their online presence. But with the rapid development of the Internet, it became necessary to create a more advanced analysis tool. The result was Google Analytics 4.

What’s new in Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google’s popular web analytics tool. GA4 was designed to meet the evolving evolution of web analytics and increasing demands for privacy and user identification. Compared to the previous version, Universal Analytics, GA4 brings some significant changes and improvements. Here are the key differences:

Event-based data collection

The most noticeable difference between GA4 and Universal Analytics is the way data is tracked. While Universal Analytics is based on page views, GA4 relies more on event-based tracking. This means that every user interaction, whether it’s watching a video or filling out a contact form, can be tracked as an event. This enables a deeper and more flexible analysis of user behavior.

Predefined Events und Custom Events

GA4 provides a set of predefined events that website owners can use to track common actions such as page views, clicks and conversion events. At the same time, custom events can also be created to track specific actions that are important to your website.


In today’s multivariable world, users use different devices and platforms. GA4 offers seamless integration of website and app data, which is particularly beneficial in a mobile world. This makes it possible to track user behavior across different platforms. This provides valuable insights into the entire customer path and journey.

Increased data protection

It is designed to meet changing privacy regulations. Google Analytics 4 places greater emphasis on data protection and anonymizing user data. GA4 allows website operators to collect data without using personal information. This is in response to increased data protection regulations and increased awareness among users about protecting their data and promotes user privacy and compliance with data protection regulations.

Predictive Metrics

GA4 offers the ability to use predictive metrics to make predictions about future user behavior. This can help companies optimize their marketing strategies.

Improved Reporting and Analysis

GA4 offers more powerful reporting and analysis tools. This makes it possible to delve deeper into the data and gain valuable insights.

What Does This Mean for Companies?

The introduction of Google Analytics 4 takes some getting used to, but it also offers expanded data collection and analysis options. Companies using GA4 can gain deeper insights into their users’ behavior and better respond to their needs.

The transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 represents a significant milestone in web analytics. GA4 provides a more privacy-friendly approach to collecting and analyzing website data.
Companies that understand and leverage these changes will be able to make their online marketing more effective and gain better insights into user behavior. Although the transition to GA4 requires effort, it can lead to better analysis and optimization of the online presence in the long term.

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