This Saturday (1), Google Analytics 3 data capture (and Universal Analytics structure) will end. Website monitoring service It will be replaced by Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and will make major changes to the collection of information on websites..

The successor to Universal Analytics, which has been in use since 2005, was announced in 2020 and with it promises to offer better access management to website administrators. While GA3 works based on pageviews, GA4 will show more details about users’ journeys across websites, as well as better integrate access, for example, from mobile devices and apps.

Russell Ketchum, Director of Product Management at Google, pointed out that platform switching is important as it will provide more accurate information. “GA4 was created for the needs of the future and has machine learning technology at its core,” he wrote on Google’s blog last year.

The manager also underlined that: the change will offer real-time reports giving a better picture of user behavior. And Google argues that all this will be done with greater respect for users’ privacy.

The tech giant takes on the important task of eliminating cookies, which are packets of files that identify user information such as gender, age, location, and more. Called the Privacy Sandbox, Google is committed to anonymizing browsing and allowing one to use it for travel, gaming, sports, etc. It aims to collect information based on topics only, knowing whether you like it or not.

Therefore, GA4 aims to advance the end of cookies and operates from privacy controls. Google argues that although tracking for more sensitive data ends, site administrators will continue to have access to relevant information.

Differences between GA3 and GA4

Working from Universal Analytics, GA3 focused on counting page views (counting one view each time the page loads), as another important metric was the total number of users accessing a given page in a given period.

Despite having similar pageview parameters to GA3, GA4 counts user metrics differently. Below are some of the main differences between the two:

total users

  • GA3: counts the total number of users;
  • GA4: the total number of unique users who logged an event (for example, user interactions on pages, such as clicking menus and searching).

active users

GA3: not counted;

GA4: the number of different users accessing the site or application.

page view

GA3: Total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are considered;

GA4: The total number of application screens and/or web pages viewed by users. Repeated views of a single screen or page are considered.


GA3: the period when someone is actively interacting with the site or application;

GA4: If a session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity and the user returns after the session timeout, a new session is started.

Source: Tec Mundo

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