Google's Sunsetting Universal Analytics in 2023; Time to Plan Ahead

Google confirmed recently what a lot of us have been expecting; they're sunsetting Universal Analytics on July 1st, 2023. This means everyone currently using Universal Analytics will have to either switch to Google Analytics 4 or some other web analytics product.

A lot of folks in the marketing and advertising world are very upset by this. You can see from the comments in this thread and this thread. To them, there was nothing wrong with Universal Analytics and GA4 is a huge step backward.

Many speculate that Google's being forced to do this since they're getting a lot of heat from the EU about user privacy. GA4 is supposed to be more privacy-focused and I believe Google is hoping that'll appease the EU regulators.

Whether it does or not still has yet to be seen.  

Another gripe is how Google is handling this transition. They're not letting users import their historical data from Universal Analytics into GA4, which I must admit, is not great.

Fortunately, there are some 3rd party analytics products like Fathom that are accommodating these users and allowing them to easily import their UA historical data into their analytics product.

What am I going to do? I'm not sure yet! I tend to agree with this commenter's assessment. I'm not seeing how this is that big a deal if your focus is on conversions, which is where the focus should be. Fewer vanity metrics are a good thing IMO.

Since I manage Google Ad Campaigns that target the USA and I myself reside in the USA, I haven't worried too much about Google's issues with the EU and GDPR.  With that said, I may consider trying out PanelBear since they have a great free tier or I might set up Fathom on a Digital Ocean Droplet.

Note: I'm not a lawyer and so this is not legal advice.

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