Ninja Space Content Tech Blog

Pros and Cons of G4 from Google Analytics Versus Universal Analytics (UA)

Posted by Ninja Space Content on Saturday, April 9, 2022 Under: Google Analytics
Recently, Google Analytics is always showing a top banner to remind Google Analytics users that UA (Universal Analytics) is going away on July 1, 2023 and we'll need to embed the G4 code instead. 

The Google Analytics banner message says: "Universal Analytics will no longer process new data in standard properties beginning July 1, 2023. Prepare now by setting up and switching over to a Google Analytics 4 property." Now, it's still over a year away from today's post before UA goes away but I'm starting to add the G4 code to the head of my site whenever I'm already having to go into the files to update something on any of my websites so that I can start to compare and contrast the differences of the reports.

I've already added the new G4 code to at least 5 of my websites. First off, I quickly noticed that there are less options for reports on the left side menu for G4 reporting but maybe that's a good thing because I didn't and still don't always use every sub-menu feature of Universal Analytics. Here are other differences that I noticed:

Realtime Reporting Differences
Another obvious difference right off the bat between the two versions is Realtime Reporting. Realtime Reporting for the G4 shows more users on my site at any given time than UA Reporting. I think that's because they are keeping the time frame the user enters a page wider for that report. For instance, I may see 3 users on real time reporting on G4 while I would only see 1 for the UA code on realtime; and I'm opening both side by side at the same time so it's been interesting. I particularly like the map of my realtime users of the G4 Realtime dashboard! It's wonderful!

Reporting on the Current Day
While I like that the G4 Realtime Reporting is reflecting cool features and showing a larger number of realtime count than the UA Reporting realtime count, if I were to want to go into an overview of today's analytics, G4 doesn't seem as accurate as the UA for that. There would be mornings where I'd go in to see how many users have gone to my sites today and there could be 20 users reflected on the UA reports but only 3 for the G4 reports. I'm assuming it's taking longer for G4 to pull today's number up to the minute. Maybe this will get better as we get closer to 2023. We'll see.

Do I like G4 better than UA?
Thus far, I think I do like G4 better. I think keeping realtime user count for any user within a wider timeframe is good. Many times if I see a realtime user is currently on my site from Google Analytics, I would refrain from publishing an edit until I see that count to 0. I don't wait until in the middle of the night to publish an edit for many of my sites because sometimes my content needs to be updated to reflect accuracy on event details. So keeping that range wider is reducing the possibility that a user is landing on my site while I'm in the middle of a publish and therefore, reduces errors for them.

I'll definitely add more to this if I've discovered anything more that I wish could be better or any other Pros and Cons.

In : Google Analytics 

Tags: g4 versus ua  g4 pros and cons  ua differences  google analytics 

About Ninja Space Content

Ninja Space Content I have been building simple websites on my own since 2008 and currently run several websites at the moment, including this one. I used to be an account manager for an affiliate/e-commerce company, helping affiliates grow their sales so I have some knowledge on the business side and client side of affiliate marketing. Most recently, I decided to complete a JavaScript coding bootcamp and graduated in Dec 2020.
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