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Posted by Eric on Mar 30th 2022
We live in Google's universe -- there's just no way around that fact. This is particularly true if you run an ecommerce site like we do. There are a lot of things that can spook online retailers, but none more than when Google announces and then makes "changes." Those rattle us to the core since such "changes" -- think ranking algorithms for keywords associated with your site --- can literally undue years of diligent work.
So when Google recently announced that it will be ending Google Universal Analytics, I just about lost it. This is a tool that millions of people use daily. It has about 24% of worldwide analytics market share. Our site, and many others, are totally dependent on this tool. How exactly can they just "end" it?
And relief! What Google was trying to say was that they are phasing out "Universal Analytics" for what they call Google Analytics 4 (GA4). While this change will still impact millions of Analytics users who will need to go through the hassle of migrating their data to this new system, it is a far cry from: The End!
There might even be a silver lining to this unwanted imposition. For one, I'll finally be able to figure out what my website data is trying to tell me by using a GA4 annotation tool that posts what looks like a "sticky note" on my data charts so I'll easily remember when we sent this promo email or that viral social media piece was posted, etc. You get the idea. This little annotation tool will help explain the bumps and drops that my Analytics chart have shown me for years and, in doing so, free up a bit of space in my mind!
The lesson to be learned? Despite my fears this change, like almost all changes, might actually be for the better! When life lessons of "embrace change" come courtesy of Google, is there any doubt that it's Google's universe?
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