Update on Google’s Universal Analytics, Part Deux

Director of Media & Analytics
Published 5/1/14
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It’s been about two weeks since our last post on Universal Analytics and there is still more information flowing in about the upgrade phases that we want to share. There is now officially a Phase 4! Phase 4 will initiate when all of the automatic property updates are complete in Phase 2 and all properties have been upgraded to Universal Analytics.

As part of their Phase 4 description, Google gives a timeframe on how long they will process the deprecated libraries: “Data collected from the deprecated features will be processed for a minimum of 2 years.” We’re excited to learn about this timeframe, and I’ll tell you why... Upgrading our clients to Universal Analytics has been difficult. Just because Google has said Universal is ready, doesn’t mean it is.

We do recommend preparing for the upgrade by switching your analytics solution set up to Google Tag Manager

Ga.js, the version of Google Analytics we all use now, has been around for years and in this time has gained a lot of third-party support. Most of these third-party platforms have not yet had the time to integrate Universal Analytics into their platforms because they not only need to support it, but they need to support ga.js for their clients that haven’t upgraded yet.

Where does this leave us in this upgrade process? We are keeping track of the third-party partners most commonly used by our clients and what their upgrade status is. Here’s our list:

Sharing Plugins:

  • ShareThis – Yes
  • AddThis – No

Video Players:

  • JW Player – No

Booking Engines

  • BookDirect – Yes (Needs to be requested)
  • aRes – No

Other

  • Get Smart Content – Yes

Drupal

  • Google Analytics Module - No

If a client is working with one of the partners not yet supporting Universal Analytics, we are not recommending an upgrade. Even though we don’t recommend a full upgrade yet, we do recommend preparing for the upgrade by switching your analytics solution set up to Google Tag Manager. This will allow for a seamless upgrade to Universal Analytics once it is more widely supported.