There is a big change coming in the world of data. What we refer to as Google Analytics, technically Google Analytics 3 (GA3), will stop working on July 1, 2023.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) was released way back in October 2020, but was generally ignored by the blogging community. There is nothing intuitive about the user interface, it is very hard to find ‘standard’ reports – there was nothing compelling about it. At the time of writing, ad networks such as Mediavine and AdThrive do not support using GA4 in their application process.
So most people simply ignored GA4 and went about their business. That all changed on March 16, 2022 when Google announced they would be shutting down Google Analytics 3.
What happens next?
- July 1, 2023: GA3 will stop collecting new data. Your existing data will still be available in GA3, you will still be able to access it. No new data will be added as of this date.
- End of 2023 or early 2024: Google will delete all of your data stored in GA3. They have not confirmed a date yet, the March 16, 2022 announcement says your data will be available “for at least six months” after July 1, 2023.
What to do now?
As there is more than one year before GA3 stops working, the most important thing to do right now is to start collecting data in the new GA4 system. Keep your existing GA3 recording data as well.
That way when July 1, 2023 comes along, you will have more than one year’s worth of data inside of GA4 to work with.
For now, we are recommending to all clients to simply add an additional GA4 property inside of Google Analytics, and keep your existing GA3 code installed on your site.
Grayson Bell over at iMarkinteractive has written a great post on how to install GA4, so there is no need to duplicate that effort, you can follow that tutorial to get GA4 installed alongside GA3.
How to use GA4
The goal is to provide some tips and tricks to assist you to get the data you need out of GA4. As there is currently more than one year left before GA3 stops working, this section will be updated periodically.
When you first go into GA4, you will see the following home screen.
One of the most common feature bloggers want to use analytics for is to see how much traffic they have received.
Click on Reports in the main menu, shown in the screenshot below.
From the Reports menu, expand the Engagement menu, and click on Pages and screens as shown in the screenshot below.
You will see the Pages and screens: Page title and screen class report shown below.
We can now see the number of page views by page, for the date range selected.