Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Google Analytics. It was loved by many marketers all over the internet, and we will never forget how much Google Analytics has done for us. Google Analytics 4, as we previously reported on (twice!), is set to permanently replace the much loved Google Analytics in July, despite the heavy disapproval from users.
Why Is Google Replacing Google Analytics?
Google is putting privacy at the forefront of their mission, which is why Google is intent on bridging the gap between understanding a customer’s journey while prioritizing user privacy at the same time.
Therefore, Google launched Google Analytics 4 to address these new privacy standards. Google Analytics 4 has the ability to measure different kinds of data, while allowing businesses to see user journeys across websites and apps. Now that Google has gotten rid of third party cookies, understanding a user’s journey has become more and more important, and Google has implemented Google Analytics 4 to combat this. GA 4 operates across platforms and does not rely on cookies; instead, GA 4 uses an event-based data model to deliver measurements that are user centered.
Plus, Google Analytics 4 will no longer store IP addresses. This is great news for customers who value their internet privacy and control over their data.
If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It
Despite this change, Google Analytics 4 is not being well received by marketers. Twitter users have been especially peeved about the update, citing how difficult it is to use. While this is not a new complaint, as the user interface has been out of beta testing for a long time, users still seem to be dissatisfied by how difficult Google Analytics 4 is to use.
Twitter user Dave Davies (@beanstalkim) tweeted that important data is difficult to access, and that it is not intuitive to SEOs and regular business owners. Others echoed his statement, stating that Google Analytics 4 seems to be designed for retail sites, rather than full marketing campaigns. It was also noted that third-party add ons are still not compatible with Google Analytics 4.
Some marketers have even said that using Google Analytics 4 has driven them to tears, as previously simple features are now extremely complicated. Non-tech business owners in particular, such as small business owners, have struggled to use Google Analytics in the past, but now Google Analytics 4 is all but impossible for small business owners to navigate. Users have since questioned Google’s commitment to small businesses, saying that Google Analytics 4 caters to big companies and large websites.
Marketers have tried to combat this problem by posting how-to guides for using Google Analytics 4. This, however, has also received backlash, as the article linked in the twitter post is over 1000 words and includes screenshots. If the new interface requires that much effort to learn how to use it, is it really that much better? This is a sentiment echoed by marketers who find that even with this guide, it really doesn’t make things that much easier to use.
Other marketers have even gone so far as to say that Google Analytics 4 shouldn’t ever have been brought out of beta testing, as there are many things that Google still needs to fix before releasing it to the general public. Users further state that Google Analytics 4 is not ready to be used and that it was rushed out and still needs improvements.
Google Analytics is gone (RIP) and is being replaced by Google Analytics 4, but marketers are not happy about this change at all. Not only have there been reports of complicated UI issues, but there have also been complaints regarding how difficult it is for small businesses to use. We don’t know if Google will fix the issues brought up by their users, nor do we know if Google Analytics 4 will prove to enhance marketing campaigns in the long run. All we know so far is that marketers are dissatisfied with Google Analytics 4, and that the future of the platform is uncertain.