The new Google Analytics – 4

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Google have recently launched the 4th generation of their analytics programme. It is designed to be more modern and reflect the change in pace with the current times. New features have been added and layouts have been changed with overhauls taking place. However not all are happy with this, in fact, a determined number are far from happy with the changes! Our latest blog post will explore this new platform further.

Why?

The introduction of Google Analytics 4 has been released for several reasons:

  • To help with the ever changing and evolving issues around user’s privacy and privacy laws. There is a greater emphasis on artificial intelligence and data modelling to help in these situations where privacy laws or regulations restrict the use of analytical data.
  • To be able to better track usage between different mediums (e.g., computers, tablets, smartphones) thereby producing more accurate figures and results.
  • To take account of the demise of cookies and how this impacts analytical statistics.

What is different about analytics 4 in usage terms?

Users who have had a chance to experiment with the platform already will have noticed extra additions or changes compared to previous versions.

* The interface is different and more modern. Items are grouped differently meaning it can take a while to find what you are looking for.

* The metric of bounce rate has gone. Instead, it has been replaced with something called “engaged sessions.” These consist of a visit which lasted more than 10 seconds, or had a conversion associated, or had 2 or more page views per visit.

* ‘Goals’ have also gone and have been replaced by a blanket ‘conversion’ marker.

* As mentioned above, the new platform is designed to function without cookies and still provide reliable data.

* Google are trying to move away from analytics as a reporting platform, and instead push to use this for analysis only.

Should I use it and how has it been received by the community? 

When we looked at it, it is certainly very different and will take some getting used to. It is likely that new features will exist on this platform rather than the old and that can be taken as a signal that the old platform will eventually cease to exist. The best advice for now, is probably to use both for the time being. This gives you chance to get used to the new platform and to be able to compare and contrast. Google are aware it will take time for people to adjust to this new format.

However, many people have been critical of it and it seems that its introduction has not been popular. Many complaints have centred around the fact that it is difficult to use, follow and understand. Others have complained that it is “horrible” and “awful.” That leads us to believe that it is not ready for general use, and Google may need to make many adjustments to it, before it becomes a compulsory platform to use, in place of anything previous.

Want to find out how analytics can help you optimise and refine your website? Visit our Google analytics consulting page to find out more.

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