Privacy Changes Drive Google to Sunset Universal Analytics in Favor of G4

July 1, 2023 is the sunset date for UA or Universal Analytics.

Google has announced that it will sunset the popular web traffic analytics tool called Universal Analytics in favor of G4 Analytics on July 1, 2023.

Why is Google making this change?

With the changing needs for privacy, Google has decided that it is time for everyone to get onboard and embrace G4 Analytics. Read about the differences between the two.

G4 has been out for two years, but many, myself included, consider the dashboard difficult to set up and use. This has slowed webmasters and marketing managers from embracing the new cookieless technology of G4.

Additionally, Google announced that the data from Universal Analytics (UA) will not flow into G4. So, webmasters should plan on adding code now for G4 to start gathering data before the UA sunset date. Some webmasters and site owners may want to do a download of UA data before the sunset of the application.

It’s all about the third party cookies

All of these changes are about the use of third party cookies for tracking. Google Ads uses audiences and cookies from UA when merged with Google Ads to create tracking for advanced audiences. Specifically the explanation below puts this issue in easy to understand terms.

“…the change reflects an evolution on how analytics is associated with websites and the changing role analytics plays in privacy. Universal Analytics represented the pinnacles of page-loaded measurement, introducing cross platform tracking and more flexible code options for producing custom dimensions and metrics. However, it still relied on cookies, the text files in browsers, to transmit data behind the dimensions and metrics. ” Read more.

By moving beyond cookies with G4, Google is building for the future, but may also be self-serving to benefit remarketing and conversion technology alternatives to protect Google Ads. The loss of third party cookies is a huge issue for Google Ads conversion tracking and for the serving of remarketing ads for advertisers.

For now, Google and McCord Web Services is recommending running UA Analytics and G4 on the same website. Allowing the two to run will build a number of months worth of data before UA Analytics is sunset.

The problem with G4 is it is more than an update it is a new protocol

If you have logged into a G4 account you most likely are stunned at the lack of any data. G4 runs on custom events, there are really very few built out features at this time which makes it hard for webmasters to embrace G4 as a functional alternative to UA Analytics.

Although the ability to customize events may be a boon for some, for most G4 cannot be considered a plug and play application. We are hopeful that as the sunset date gets closer Google will listen to the feedback about needing to make G4 more user friendly and offer more information on how to set up events that make sense to replace the information lost when compared to UA.

Our recommendation is to start now with G4 code implementation so data can start accruing for at least one year. And to start learning now to create events for the important statistics you like in Universal Analytics in G4.

We encourage you to subscribe to our blog posts to stay informed on what’s coming up for G4 and Google Ads.  Just visit our blog home page and look on the right side bar for subscribe by email to get a copy of our blog posts when they are published.



What to Do About a High Bounce Rate Part Two

High Bounce Rate – Continued from Monday April 3, 2017.

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McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

Dealing with a high bounce rate on your website? Here are my recommendations for what to do to try to solve the problem.


First, don’t get spun up. Not every page needs to have a low bounce rate of 40% to 65%. I have found that blog posts and informational articles, which may be driving traffic to your website, may also have a high bounce rate.

If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:

Put the page to work for you. Feature your newsletter subscription link, video links, and even AdSense advertising ads on those high traffic, yet high bounce rate pages. Understand that they are doorways into your site and work to market your own site on these pages with banners, icons, and interactivity like video embeds.

Second, if you have content and service pages that are really meaningful to your business and they have a bounce rate in the high 70%’s, I would tag them for a content review.

If this is the case, I recommend the following actions:

Review your meta tags, you may be getting traffic that is not targeted to your page content. Review your meta title and meta description tags. Do they make sense based on the content of the page? Should they be updated to be more reflective of what the reader will find when they click in?

Review your page content with a careful eye for detail. Are you supplying content that is engaging or just supplying information. Do you have a call to action on the page, do you have links to your contact form, are you using an app like Drift to get the person online chatting with you, are you addressing a pain point and supplying solutions with related information on other pages drawing the reader in farther to your content?

Are you driving untargeted Google AdWords traffic to your page and paying for a click where what you are offering on your page does not match keywords that are being triggered? As AdWords experts find out more about our programs to solve this issue.

We offer professional by the hour content consulting and website content writing services. I invite you to visit my website to learn more about how we can help you to lower a high bounce rate on your website.

What to Do About a High Bounce Rate Part One

Bounce rate is determined to be high if it is over 75%, however there can be acceptable reasons for a high bounce rate, but a high bounce rate does  require careful review.

What is the Bounce Rate?

What's your page bounce rate? Is it too high?
What’s your page bounce rate? Is it too high?

The bounce rate is recorded for you in Google Analytics by page in the Behavior section > Site Content section, and as a site average on the overview page.


Several years ago the average and target bounce rate for a good website was 46.9%. Now with more users on mobile devices, the bounce rate has skyrocketed.

Google states that this drastic change to bounce rate is due in part to the fact that mobile users may start a search on your site and move to a desktop to finish up a review or purchase. Page views have also decreased in this same time period from over 3 or so pages viewed per session to now about 1.5 pages per session – all driven by mobile activity.

Identifying a High Bounce Rate

To address a website’s high bounce rate, knowledge is power.  First, it is important to understand what causes a high bounce rate.

  1. You’ll get a high bounce rate if the page content does not engage the reader. This is a good flag to review your page and consider additions, video, additional links to other information.
  2. You’ll get a high bounce rate if the content is not what the reader was looking for. This is a good flag to review your content, your meta tags, and your paid advertising.
  3. You’ll get a high bounce rate if you supplied the content the reader wanted and they had no need to go further. It is not uncommon to see how bounce rates on articles and blog posts.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ll want to look at the pages that have a high bounce rate score and identify if changes should be done to the content. Check out my Wednesday post this week for the continuation of this article.


What Should You Watch in Google Analytics

Educate yourself on the value of monitoring your site in Google Analytics.
Educate yourself on the value of monitoring your website in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google. Insert a small snippet of code in your website files and statistical tracking starts immediately. Over time you can start to identify important trends that you can use to leverage exposure for your business.

Here Are the Areas I Watch in Google Analytics

1. Audience on Left > Overview
Use this page to identify the overview of what is happening on your website from total visits, unique sessions, to time on page and bounce rate.

2.  Audience on Left > Mobile > Overview
Use this page to monitor the technology people are using to visit your website. Monitor the percentage of mobile devices and desktops.  Make sure you are aware of the technology used when visiting your site so you can make sure you are catering to your reader trends.

3. Behavior on the Left > Site Content > All Pages
Use this page to identify the top visited pages of your website.  On this page I monitor my bounce rate by page of content. Where I have a high bounce rate I may want to review my content to make sure it is targeted and concise. Too high of a bounce rate may indicate that AdWords is not targeted enough for you (if you are using AdWords to drive traffic to your website) or that the reader simply did not quickly find the information that they wanted.

4. Behavior on the Left > In Page Analytics
Use this page to actually see an overlay of your own website pages with click traffic indicators and link popularity over the links and navigation of your pages. You can navigate through your entire website. I use this page to identify if I have hot sections of my website or sections that don’t get much attention.

If you need help understanding what is important on your own website and how you may be able to improve site traffic, make sure to review our services for site evaluation.

Keyword Blackout in Google Analytics Makes It Hard to Know Your Traffic

Over six months ago, Google announced that for users signed into their Google account using https:// at Google, would no longer have their search terms or activity shown in Google Analytics. Matt Cutts at that time mentioned that this would not be a big impact for website analysis but would however provide secure searches for users.

Fast forward now about six months, and if you are like me, in Google Analytics I cannot see upwards of 54% of my website traffic’s search keywords. That’s no small number! So, what’s a website owner to do to understand what is happening on his or her website and to try to know what keywords are popular to your web presence.

Here are three things you can to to try to get more keyword data:

1. Make sure to link your Google Analytics account with your Google Webmaster control panel account and verify your access. When you do this, Google Analytics will show more keyword information under the Search Engine Optimization links from the left side bar. Although this is simply not as much data as before, it does give you additional insight into the traffic and keywords popular for your website.

2. In Google Analytics add query parameters to you can track activity on your own site search function. This article found at SiteProNews written by Nell Terry explains how to do just that; track searches in Analytics.

3. Advertise on Google AdWords for keyword and conversion keyword discovery. Using AdWords, and if you link your AdWords account to Google Analytics the data will flow into the section called traffic and then advertising and will give you more keyword insights.

Unfortunately with keyword blackout in Google Analytics, and the “not set” descriptor, even site owners find it hard to understand what keywords are driving search traffic. However, these tips will allow you to glean a little bit more knowledge into what is driving your own traffic so you can further evaluate activity and change accordingly.