GA4 vs Universal Analytics

Google Analytics has long been the preferred web analytics tool for companies and website owners looking to get insightful data about their performance online. However, a new era in web analytics has arrived with the release of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), offering exciting updates and enhancements. 

It was developed to be more adaptable and future-proof than UA and released in October 2020. In addition to using a different data model than UA, GA4 also gathers several kinds of data. There will be better insights when developing a marketing strategy because this is more about engagement than session-level reporting. In addition to interaction, GA4 monitors a number of crucial variables, such as:

  • Time spent dating 
  • Rate of engagement
  • Events Demographics 
  • Attribution

You can see that GA4 gives you access to more information than just page views. You can better understand a customer by following their journey, and you can then use that understanding to develop a marketing strategy that appeals to them.

What is the Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics, which was released in the fall of 2012, provides updated tracking codes and functionality for websites that may more precisely gauge user behavior (1).  Users have access to both Google Analytics (GA) and Universal Analytics (UA). But as of right now, only Universal Analytics is supported formally. All users are being urged by Google to move their assets to Universal. Although UA provides the account owner with more detailed information about user behavior, both Universal and Google Analytics provide consumers with similar data.

What Happened Before GA4?

Since Google initially purchased Google Analytics in 2005, the software has seen significant development. The launch of the Universal Analytics (UA) platform in 2013 marked the beginning of the tracking standard. But as a result of Google’s March 16, 2022 release on GA4, we are aware that UA will be phased away starting in July 2023. Here is Google’s most recent statement on the matter.

What Are Users Doing With GA4 and UA Right Now?

Many of us are attempting to learn everything we can about GA4 while simultaneously running GA4 and UA on our websites (“dual tagging”). You could fit the bill. July is approaching quickly after all. If you are familiar with the background and want to get straight on to implementation, you might want to look at this 10-step guide for setting up your GA4 configuration correctly. 

Creating your property and installing the GA4 tracking codes on your website are the first two steps. The remaining crucial setup procedures are covered in procedures 3 through 10 and include your data retention settings, session timeout configuration, internal traffic filtering, configuring referral exclusions, and more!

How Does GA4 Measure Users vs. Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics receives data from “cookie-based” tracking. A website that uses UA sends a cookie to the user’s browser, enabling the platform to track and record web behavior on the concerned site throughout the user’s visit. A session-based data model is used for the measuring methodology. Google claims that GA4 enables “businesses to measure across platforms and devices using multiple forms of identity.

“First-party information and “Google signals” from users who have chosen to have their advertising personalized are included in this. Additionally, Google Analytics GA4 will continue to use cookies for tracking wherever they are available. GA4’s data model is event-based as opposed to session-based. In a society where privacy is becoming more and more important, it makes sense to suppose that those cookies may become less and less common. Although this may be a net benefit to humanity, it currently appears to be a major drawback for digital marketers.

What distinguishes the UA from the GA4?

The features of Google Analytics 4 go beyond those of Universal Analytics. To satisfy current and upcoming reporting and privacy standards, it is built differently. Here are a few variations and benefits.


While Universal Analytics is session-based, GA4 is event-based. In other words, while UA needs complicated setups, GA4 already has the ability to track events like button clicks, video plays, and more.

This is based on the notion that page.

Cross-device tracking

While GA4 gives businesses visibility into consumer journeys across all of their websites and apps, UA was focused on desktop browser traffic.

Machine learning

GA4 uses machine learning tools to forecast and distribute findings.


GA 4 does not rely on cookies as extensively as UA data.

The User Experience

The updated features of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) elevate user experience to new heights by offering a variety of insights that can be applied to generally increase website performance. With GA4, tracking and evaluating user interactions has never been simpler. By using a more straightforward style, data is displayed in a way that is both aesthetically beautiful and easy to understand, allowing businesses to quickly see significant trends and take informed decisions. 

Users can simply navigate the platform and get the information they need thanks to the updated user interface, which provides a fluid experience. In addition, GA4 offers cross-device tracking, giving businesses a thorough picture of how customers interact with various devices. 

This helpful information allows for a deeper understanding of user behavior, assisting businesses in tailoring their marketing strategies and improving website content to better meet user expectations.

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