Google has started automatically migrating advertiser conversion tracking from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, confusing advertisers.
While intended to ease the transition to GA4, Google’s automated changes are creating problems for advertisers unaware of the migration.
Google apologizes for the confusion and recommends advertisers manually migrate their Universal Analytics settings for complete control.
A Shift To Google Analytics 4
Google has been replacing Universal Analytics with its upgraded version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), since July 1.
As part of this shift, the company has been creating GA4 properties for users based on the settings of their existing Universal Analytics properties unless the users opted out.
Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin explained on X (formerly Twitter):
“Some advertisers have noticed our system making changes to GA4 conversion actions in their Google Ads accounts. This is the conversion swapping piece of the Setup Assistant migration process with the turndown of Universal Analytics.”
Communication & Confusion
Google notified advertisers that it would configure corresponding conversions and audiences in GA4 and apply them to Ads accounts as part of the migration process.
Advertisers had the option to opt out of this automatic configuration. However, Marvin acknowledged that some advertisers were surprised by the changes.
“With the turndown process taking some time, we understand that some advertisers may be caught off guard with these changes being made now and apologize for the confusion.”
She explained that the changes aim to “map UA conversion to GA4 conversion settings for bidding & avoid duplicate measurement.”
Recommendations For Advertisers
Advertisers who do not manually migrate their settings may face issues.
According to a Google help page, not all Universal Analytics settings have a clear GA4 counterpart. Hence, the automated migration process might not consistently deliver the same choices that users would make.
That’s why Google advises manually migrating your Universal Analytics settings to GA4 to maintain control over your configurations.
Google reaffirmed that a new GA4 property will automatically be created if users do nothing, and Universal Analytics configurations will be copied to this new GA4 property.
Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data on July 1. Therefore, users wanting to continue using Google Analytics to measure their website traffic need a GA4 property.
Google will copy over any configurations for advertisers who have created a GA4 property and linked it to a Universal Analytics property.
As Google continues to navigate this significant shift, the company urges advertisers to stay informed and actively manage their migration to ensure the best results.
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