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Google Analytics 4 Vs. Universal Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytical service that provides services for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes, such as statistical and basic analytical tools. This service is free for anyone having a Google account as it is a Google marketing platform. On the other hand, Universal Analytics is a version of Google Analytics that was introduced in 2012. Its main job is to collect and organize all the net-based data available.


According to recent updates, Google has announced that Universal Analytics will come to an end by July 2023. This would mean that all the people using Google accounts must shift to Google Analytics 4 till the above-stated date.


Key Differences Between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4

The newly launched Google Analytics 4 has many new features and adaptations, making it quite popular. There are many differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4.


Different Measuring Models for Both Systems

Universal Analytics uses a measurement model system based on sessions and page views. A session can contain multiple page views, events, and eCommerce transactions. On the contrary, Google Analytics 4 uses events and parameters for its measurement model. The point to remember is that any interaction can be taken as an event. This is why all the Universal Analytical hit-types are taken as an event in Google Analytics 4.


Google Analytics 4 Has Removed Monthly Hit Limits

The free version of Universal Analytics had a monthly hit limit of 10m hits. This was creating a nuisance for many clients as they had to collect all the available data while staying within the particular hit limits.

Google Analytics 4 has tried solving this problem. They have put a limit on the number of events that can be captured, which is 500. Therefore, many clients have been switching to the Google Analytics 4 for their analytics as there is no limit to the volume of hits that can be collected while writing.


Google Analytics 4 Offers Free Connection to BiqQuery

BigQuery was only available to the customers having Google Analytics 360 which was a feature available in the paid versions of Google Analytics. BigQuery is an amazing platform that allows very large and complex data sets to be queried in a very short amount of time. Due to the Google Analytics 4 offering free connection to this platform, it has become quite popular amongst the customers because BigQuery takes the data out of the Google Analytics and allows you to interrogate it without the problem of sampling.


Different Categories of Events in Google Analytics 4

The events that take place in Google Analytics 4 have been grouped into different categories.


1. Automatically Collected Events

These events get automatically tracked when the Google Analytics 4 base code is installed. These include different events such as page_view, first_visit, and session_start.


2. Enhanced Measurement Events

These events also get installed automatically, which are collected alongside the base code. However, these can be enabled or disabled depending on the type, model, and functionality of the website you are working on. The events which are included in this category are scrolls, outbound clicks, site searches, as well as video engagements.


3. eCommerce Recommended Events

These events are recommended by Google itself for you to set up. These have also been split up into industry types.


4. Custom Events

These are the events and different parameters that you can create and implement yourself. These events are based on different website requirements. Up till now, there are 500 distinctly named events.


Final Thoughts

There are some major differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. Each has its advantages and unique characteristics. You must understand how both of the systems operate before choosing any one of them. However, one should remember that everyone would have to switch over to Google Analytics 4 till July of 2023.