Google Analytics, the most widely used website analysis tool in the world, leaves “cookies” in the background with its GA4 version, in which a new way of examining the behavior of Internet users and the commitment to greater privacy aim at revolutionize digital advertising strategies.
The new version comes at a key moment given the new needs and demands of a growing digital market, explained to EFE Gabriel Barrios, Data and Analysis leader at MRM Chile, which is part of the global network of McCann Worldgroup advertising agencies, and Deb Slabodsky, Google’s Head of Data Measurement and Privacy for Latin America.
GA4 will replace Universal Analytics, a version that has been in operation since April 2014 and which, according to the consultancy on the use of Internet technologies W3TECHS, is used by 56.7% of all websites in the world, which represents a share of traffic analysis tools market 86.1%.
“This new market demands more digital intelligence and precision. And the figures support it: the field of web analysis will double in the next three years, to 7,000 million dollars in 2026,” said Barrios.
“COOKIES”, IP ANONYMITY AND PRIVACY
Google Analytics 4 (GA4), whose adoption deadline is July 1, “is an ‘online’ platform that allows companies and individuals to measure and analyze the traffic and interaction of Internet users with a website and/or a mobile application”, said Slabodsky, who stressed that machine learning will help respond to a current need of all people: to preserve their privacy.
The Google spokeswoman mentioned that GA4 includes “new privacy controls” that will allow websites to customize the data they collect and minimize the scope of user information.
One of the big changes with the GA4 will be, precisely, the passing of “cookies” to the background, the tiny computer files that websites send, are stored in the browser and with which they obtain user data, such as their IP address and your browsing habits.
With GA4, Google uses machine learning and manages to cover, using historical trends, the gaps that are left when Internet users decide not to accept “cookies”, allowing information on user behavior to be obtained while keeping their data anonymous.
“With GA4, IP addresses will no longer be stored nor is it based exclusively on ‘cookies’. The logic is based on events (customer interactions on a website or “app”) and not on the display of pages and sessions as the version previous one, launched a decade ago,” says Barrios.
For the expert, by having other sources of data, beyond “cookies”, the GA4 will help “the owners of websites and mobile applications to obtain a deeper understanding of their users while being more respectful of privacy”.
GREATER KNOWLEDGE OF AUDIENCES
Regarding the changes, Google explains that GA4 offers a much more robust measurement system than Universal Analytics, therefore “companies may experience a challenge until they get used to it.”
Among the changes offered by this update is the possibility of collecting data from both “apps” and the web and thus unifying the analysis, in addition to the use of predictive tools and the ability to measure data from different sources.
Barrios points out that by using data models based on customer interactions on a website or an “app”, a user-centric measurement is offered, which will allow brands to better understand audiences.
“And, through a modernized digital marketing, also suggest more attractive content and evolve rapidly, being directly connected to the consumer experience,” he adds.
Google finally warned that on July 1 the free Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data. “After that date, users will be able to access historical data for a short period, but they will not be able to continue evaluating future information or activating it,” the tech giant said.
This story was originally published on February 6, 2023 7:34 a.m.
Source: El Nuevo Herald