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Here’s what will happen if you hadn’t opt out for UA to GA4 Automigration before 28th February

March 6, 2023
Google Analytics 4 Migration Via Tagmate

By now, you must be familiar with the fact that Google had enabled Universal Analytics users to auto-migrate to Google Analytics 4 up till the 28th of February, 2023. 

Almost every Google Analytics expert advised against it and asked website owners to opt out of the auto-migration. But what if you didn’t opt out of Google’s UA to GA4 auto-migration feature? Well, there are high chances that you aren’t alone, and yes, you can expect ‘some’ issues.

At Tagmate, we understand how important it is to have your web analytics in place, so I have written this article to help you understand the situation in case you forgot to opt out. 

In this article, I will summarize the developments and provide you with insights so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s learn more about UA to GA4 auto migration.

Background: Why is everyone talking about this email from Google that says, “We will configure Google Analytics 4 for you”?

Google sent out an email stating, “We will configure Google Analytics 4 for you” on the 9th of February 2023, and this is how it looks like:

Google Automigration Notice for GA4

It is now well known that Universal Analytics (UA) properties will stop processing new visit data on July 1, 2023. For a long time, Google has tried to persuade users to migrate to its new analytics platform Google Analytics 4.

According to this email, Google aims to create GA4 properties for your website based on your current UA settings, such as audiences and goals.

The deadline for opting out was the 28th of February, 2023; if you didn’t opt out, you would likely face some repercussions. 

Wait, are you confused if you opted out or didn’t? Well, if any of the following scenarios are true for your case, chances are, you can expect some trouble:

  • Scenario #1: You have UA properties but didn’t set up GA4 properties
  • Scenario #2: You have both UA and GA4 properties, but they aren’t linked with each other
  • Scenario #3: You have both UA and GA4 properties and you have linked them with each other

So, what’s the big deal? What are the ‘bad things’ that will happen after auto-migrating from UA to GA4?

Manually migrating from UA to GA4 can be a long process. It requires completing a total of twelve steps in the GA4 Setup assistant.

Here’s what can possibly go wrong with UA to GA4 auto migration:

Users: Enabling auto migration grants Google the ability to migrate all users from UA to GA4, which you may want to avoid happening.

Google Signals: Google may automatically activate and link Google Signals to your Google Analytics account. This can be illegal in many countries, so you definitely do not want to automate this part.

Google Ads: Google can bid on the conversions from Universal Analytics after migrating them to GA4. It can be very risky to let Google spend your money based on an automated data transfer, especially in this economy.

Having Google automatically target ads based on GA4 conversions is a big concern since you aren’t in control of the bidding process, parameters, and strategy. Notably, Google Analytics isn’t a specialized ad bidding software with advanced capabilities, so it is in your best interest to have manual control over bidding or have a dedicated solution on your behalf.

Nomenclature: In fact, automatic migration may leave you in the dark regarding the sources of many datasets, with exceptions like conversions that will have ‘UA_’ in the name of the conversion pointing towards UA as its source.

Since GA4 provides extensive data capturing and streamlining capabilities, auto migration will mess up your GA4 property. In addition, every Event Action in UA will become an Event Name in GA4, and every Event Label/Category in UA will become an Event Parameter in GA4.

For instance, UA Category ‘homepage’ will appear as a GA4 Event called ‘get_started’, and you will end up with a huge list of unique event names every time a URL is collected on click all thanks to auto migration.

Wrap Up

Now that you fully understand the perils of the UA to GA4 auto-migration, you must get to work and ready your GA4 account. Congratulations if you opted out in time, but if that isn’t the case, it is time you start streamlining your analytics.

How? Use Tagmate, a no-code tool that can help you in your GA4 adaption journey.

Experience Tagmate here!

GA Automigration
GA4 migration
Google Analytics Migration
UA to GA4
Automatics GA4 migration
Universal Analytics
Google Analytics 4
Top questions people ask about Server Side Tagging
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