Google Analytics 4 is replacing Universal Analytics. Starting on July 1, 2023 all standard Universal Analytics properties are scheduled to stop processing data. 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data on July 1, 2024. Learn more about Universal Analytics going away.
As of April 2023, all your standard Universal Analytics properties that have received hits in the past 12 months will be replaced with automatically created Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties based on the Universal Analytics conversions or audiences that you currently use.
Not all Universal Analytics configurations have an obvious Google Analytics 4 counterpart, and the automated process might not make the same choices as you would. We strongly recommend that you manually migrate your Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4.
If you don’t want GA4 conversions and audiences to be automatically applied to your Google Ads account, you may be able to opt out.
In this article we'll explain:
The deadline to opt out of having Google Analytics 4 conversions and audiences applied to your Google Ads account based on your Universal Analytics property was April 30, 2023. However, some individual properties still have opt out available. Check your Universal Analytics property to verify if opt out is still available for your property.
Automatically created Google Analytics 4 properties can help you start your migration from Universal Analytics. Google is automatically migrating all Universal Analytics properties to Google Analytics 4. This migration will occur in 2 steps:
Google will automatically create a Google Analytics 4 property for you based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property.
Google will copy over any configurations (for example, goals, audiences, and more) from your Universal Analytics property that you haven't marked as complete in your GA4 property.
Eligible Google Ads links from your current Universal Analytics property will also be copied to your new Google Analytics 4 property. You’ll notice updated Google Ads conversion and audience data that's been imported in your Google Ads accounts.
Step 1: Automated GA4 property configuration
Google will automatically create a GA4 property for you, based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property. If you have already created a GA4 property, and that property is connected to a Universal Analytics property, we'll copy over any configurations (for example, goals, audiences, and more) from your Universal Analytics property that you have not marked as complete in your GA4 property.
All of your eligible Google Ads links from your current Universal Analytics property will be copied to your new Google Analytics 4 property. You’ll notice updated Google Ads conversion and audience data that has been imported in your Google Ads accounts.
Step 2: Automated switching to GA4 conversions and pairing with GA4 audiences
Automatically created Google Analytics 4 properties can help you start your migration from Universal Analytics.
Review the following details to understand how newly created properties may impact your Google Ads account. Learn more about how an automatically created property may impact your Google Analytics account
Updated conversions and conversion goals
If you import conversions from your Universal Analytics property into Google Ads and use them for bidding, your conversions will be switched to the GA4 equivalent where possible. This involves the following steps in your Google Ads account:
- Import the equivalent GA4 conversion event.
- Set its action optimization setting to primary.
- Set the Universal Analytics conversion's action optimization setting to secondary.
You may notice discrepancies in your conversion metrics because Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 measure conversion events differently. Switching your properties can cause short-term fluctuations in campaign performance and campaign spend as Google’s bidding models adjust to the new conversion events.
If you use a Universal Analytics conversion in a Google Ads custom goal, then the Universal Analytics conversion will be removed and replaced with an equivalent GA4 conversion where possible.
If you use a Smart Campaign, your conversions will be calculated with the Ads-preferred last click attribution model in Google Analytics before being imported into Google Ads. This helps capture more conversions.
You can also learn more about Possible reasons for conversion differences in GA4 vs. UA.
Paired Universal Analytics audiences
To facilitate the upcoming changes, we’ll attach equivalent Google Analytics 4 audience segments to campaigns and ad groups that are currently using UA audiences.
- As of May 2023, the GA4 Setup Assistant will set up a basic GA4 property for anyone who still depends on Universal Analytics audiences, and has not opted-out.
- The new Google Analytics 4 property will be linked to the same Google Ads account as the equivalent UA property. New audiences will automatically be exported from GA4 to Google Ads.
- We will also add the equivalent GA4 based segments to respective campaigns/ad groups that are using UA audiences. You may be able to opt out of this behavior.
- To opt out, you will have to add individual Google Ads account IDs in the form. If you add a Google Ads manager account ID, this won’t opt out linked individual Google Ads accounts
- Note that not all audience types will be automatically configured. We still recommend manual migration as the best path to move your campaigns from UA to GA4 audiences. Learn more about [UA -> GA4] Audiences migration guide
If you import audiences from your Universal Analytics property into Google Ads and target them to or exclude them from your advertising campaigns, these audiences will be paired with the GA4 equivalent whenever possible.
To mitigate performance changes to audiences, learn more about requirements to serve your ads.
If you've already started to migrate some of your Google tags, goals, audiences, Google Ads links, and/or conversions used in Google Ads, but you haven't completed setup by early 2023, your property is also eligible for some automatic migration. For the best migration experience, make sure you Link a Google Analytics 4 property to Google Ads and Review linked properties in a Manager account.
How do I know if I use Universal Analytics or Google Analytics 4 currently?
If you currently use Universal Analytics, a blue notification at the top of your Google Analytics account that says "Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023" will be shown. Note that if you dismissed that notification earlier, it might no longer be displayed.
Another step is to look at your property ID:
Universal Analytics property IDs start with UA and end with a number (UA-XXXXXXXXX-1).
Google Analytics 4 property IDs have only numbers (XXXXXXXXX).
Automatically created Google Analytics 4 properties contain only basic features. If you’d like to increase the value of your new property, be sure to review how to:
- Mitigate performance fluctuation due to changes in conversion settings
- Compare imported Google Ads data
- Compare key property metrics
- Set up additional features
Migrate to Google Analytics 4
- [GA4 Migration] How automatically migrated audiences impact your campaigns
- [GA4 Migration] Best practices to mitigate performance fluctuation due to changes in conversion settings
- [GA4 Migration] Switch to Google Analytics 4 conversions