How does Google change data collection for businesses and individuals alike? In this article, we are going to discuss Google Analytics 4, what the key differences between GA4 and Universal Analytics (UA) are and why your business should update its website with this latest analytics tool. For those interested to implement Google Analytics 4 on their own, a link to Google’s official page will be available.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the successor of the well-established Universal Google Analytics platform. It offers extensive reporting capabilities for a plethora of metrics. Google has mentioned that GA4 takes into account user privacy on a bigger scale than before and opts for a – as much as possible – cookie-less experience. This has come about thanks to new GDPR rules enforced by the European Union which has forced Google to introduce a consent mode which detects if the user has allowed the website to use cookies and only after that consent is established, the analytics and relevant events can start collecting data. This new version is designed to provide businesses with a more flexible and future-proof analytics experience. All the main differences between GA4and its predecessor are as follows:

Event-based data

As the name suggests, Google has moved to a different way of tracking the events that occur on a website. In UA the events are one of the many data types that can be tracked in three categories: Action, Label and Category. These tracking codes can be customized with parameters which allow some form of flexibility. GA4 events are the primary data types, which provide more flexibility and the setup is much easier in comparison. Additionally, GA4 uses a different measurements model that provides a more robust and accurate measurements tracking that include cross-device and cross-domain tracking. all these features work both in applications and websites.

Cross-device tracking

All the events that occur in a website or application can be tracked using GA4across devices and across domains. This decision and its implementation must be the top priority including user privacy. It is important to understand that UA were made in an entirely different era, as they designed when station computers where the only means of accessing the web,thus, many portable options are very primitive and not really popular anymore. Nowadays, almost 80% of all internet traffic is coming through smartphones and GA4 has been designed to provide for this type of devices. 

Privacy controls

Privacy is also a key consideration in GA4, with the platform incorporating cookie-less measurement and behavioral and conversion modeling to help businesses comply with privacy regulations. This means that businesses can track user behavior without relying on third-party cookies, which are being phased out by major web browsers such as Google Chrome. This is a really big step in the right direction for all those using the Google search engine and most of the popular browsers.

Predictive capabilities

GA4 offer guidance without complex models, helping businesses make data-driven decisions without the need for extensive data analysis. For example, GA4 can predict which customers are most likely to make a purchase based on their past behavior, allowing businesses to strategically plan their marketing targeting more effectively. This ties really well with the direct integrations Google has with all their platforms including Google Ads.

Direct integrations with media platforms

It is easier than ever for anyone using GA4to drive actions on their website or app. With GA4, users can see how their customers are interacting with their website or app and make adjustments accordingly, whether that’s by optimizing their content or improving their user experience. Additionally, Google Ads can access Google Analytics data and target those individuals that are most interested in your business and also most likely to convert and make purchases.

Why Switch to Google Analytics 4?

One key thing to note is that from July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data. This means that businesses will need to switch to GA4 if they want to continue tracking their website data. While businesses will still be able to see their Universal Analytics reports for a period of time after July 1, 2023, new data will only flow into GA4 properties. This makes it essential for businesses to make the switch to GA4 as soon as possible to avoid missing out on valuable data. Panadvert offers the entire GA4 setup for free for all their clients including switching from UA. Note that for new clients Panadvert from now on creates only GA4.

Typical GA4 Structure:

Typical UA Structure:


In conclusion, GA4 is a powerful tool that offers a more comprehensive and insightful approach to tracking website and app data. With event-based data, privacy controls, predictive capabilities, and direct integrations to media platforms, GA4 is designed for the future of measurement. If businesses want to stay ahead of the competition and make data-driven decisions, they need to make the switch to GA4 before July 1, 2023.