Significant changes are coming to Google Analytics

Google search on a computer screen

Google Analytics will soon stop logging IP addresses and phase out older versions to maintain privacy standards. As international privacy laws become more complex and consumer privacy standards increase, these changes occur. Specifically, Universal Analytics (UA), the web-based legacy analytics product, will be permanently shut down on July 1st, 2023.

As part of the transition, all analytics customers need to switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which lets you collect data from websites as well as apps, adds privacy controls, and integrates with Google products, including YouTube, Search, and the Google Cloud Platform.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a tool that lets you analyze the traffic on your website for free. Since your website is your online presence, it provides you with an overall perspective on the effectiveness of the campaigns you run to promote your products and services. Essentially, Google Analytics lets you track the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts for free.

How does Google Analytics work?

Google Analytics inserts several lines of tracking code into your website code. Tracking has been done using a Google Tracking ID (UA code (UA-xxxxxxxx-x). During visitors’ visits to your website, the code records their activities and attributes (such as location). Once the user leaves your website, this information is transferred through GA (Google Analytics); it tracks where they click, how long they stay on your pages, what pages they visit, and when they leave, among other things. Some of this information comes from IP addresses.

IP addresses are “a unique string of characters that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.” It’s like a license plate for your computer. Google Analytics will stop logging or storing IP address information after these changes.

GA4 is the new measuring tool from Google. This product was created post-GDPR for a world of digital media with much higher privacy standards. The IP address must be removed for privacy protection as a mechanism for tracking and analytics.

So, what do you need to do about this?

As most of my clients know, I’m a member of a small group of GoDaddy Community Leaders that meets regularly. Recently, Brandy Lawson, owner of FieryFX, a marketing and consulting firm in Arizona, shared a fabulous download with our group explaining this Google change and what to do about it.

She permitted me to share it with my clients! You can get Brandy’s “QUICK & DIRTY GUIDE TO GA4” below.

What are your next steps?

Brandy’s PDF file will walk you through the process step by step. However, if you are a client and this feels too confusing or you don’t want to deal with it, please contact me. We have more than a year (July 1st, 2023) to get it done! But, I do suggest you get on my “to-do” list early.

If you aren’t a client and are interested in my care plan services, please reach out and we can see if I’m a good fit for your website maintenance.

Cami MacNamara

Owner/Designer at WebCami Site Design. Providing web design services in Seattle since 2002. Follow me: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram