As of September 1, 2023, Universal Analytics (UA) is still actively processing data, despite Google's earlier announcement that it would be phased out.
Google had originally set a migration deadline of July 1 for users to transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to maintain tracking capabilities for their websites and campaigns.
However, the current reality is that, two months beyond the deadline, many marketers can still utilize their UA accounts without interruption.
People Are Refusing GA4?
The significance of this lies in the fact that a majority of marketers had been reluctant to embrace the enforced migration to GA4.
Complaints had arisen regarding the new system's user interface, data lags, and data inconsistencies.
The ability to continue monitoring campaign and website performance through UA comes as a welcome relief for those who found GA4 challenging.
Nonetheless, it is crucial for marketers not to become overly reliant on UA for analytics, as it could cease data processing at any moment.
August 22 Google Notifications: No More UA
Recent developments have shown that numerous search marketers and website operators received email notifications from Google around August 22, indicating that Universal Analytics properties had ceased processing new data. The email included the following statement:
"Your Universal Analytics property [UA property number] has now stopped processing new data. All remaining Universal Analytics standard properties will soon stop processing new data. If you haven't yet, we encourage you to complete your transition to Google Analytics 4."
Universal Analytics Warning Message
It's important to note that despite the continued functionality of UA for many users, a warning message has persisted within the tool since the beginning of the month, strongly advising users to migrate to GA4. The warning message emphasizes:
"This property is scheduled to stop processing data very soon." "Any conversions and audiences you use with Google Ad campaigns will stop working." "To avoid serious disruption to your ads, book a free support session to complete your move to Google Analytics 4 today."
While many marketers can still access their data through UA, some have reported that their accounts have indeed ceased processing data.
Using UA on Borrowed Time (Get in GA4)
For marketers who continue to use UA instead of GA4, it appears that their accounts may be operating on borrowed time.
Google has clarified that the phase-out of UA is already underway, with properties being removed gradually.
"Universal Analytics properties will stop processing hits, including standard properties in accounts that also contain 360 properties starting 1 July 2023."
"Some properties will continue to process data for a short period after this as we stage the shutdown of Universal Analytics."
"You'll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property until July 1, 2024."
"Starting on 1 July 2024, all users, including those accessing 360 properties, will lose access to the Universal Analytics user interface and API."
"We know your data is important to you, and we recommend that you export your historical reports before this date."
Universal Analytics is Sunsetting... Eventually
The persistence of Universal Analytics data processing, two months past its intended "sunset" date, has provided a temporary lifeline for marketers who had been apprehensive about transitioning to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
While some continue to benefit from UA's functionality, warnings loom, urging users to migrate to GA4 promptly.
Despite the extended grace period, Google's phased removal of UA properties is indeed underway, with a final cutoff date of July 1, 2024.
This impending closure emphasizes the importance of planning and executing a seamless transition to GA4 to avoid disruptions in data tracking and campaign monitoring. As the clock ticks, marketers must prioritize their migration efforts and consider the long-term benefits of embracing GA4's enhanced features and capabilities.