March GA4 & Google Updates

Napkyn's Monthly Update on all things GA4 - The things you need to know.

GA4 UI changes for Key Events and Conversions

What is changing?

At a high level, measurement teams across Google recognize that differences in conversions reported across platforms cause significant confusion. Google announced that they are simplifying Analytics reporting by updating the Advertising section, bringing all relevant reporting for advertisers and publishers together in one place. These changes will also support the broader shift towards a more tailored behavioural vs. performance measurement experience in the product as introduced by the recent changes here. In other words, Google is aligning how conversions are defined across Google Ads and Analytics to create a simpler and more intuitive experience in the way conversions are measured and reported across the two platforms.

To support the vision of driving conversion consistency between Google Analytics and Google Ads for Google Analytics-powered conversions, the following updates were introduced to GA4 as part of this effort:

  1. Legacy conversions will be renamed to key events: In simple terms, legacy conversions will be renamed to key events throughout the GA4 UI, across reporting surfaces, and in turn BigQuery and the API. Key events should be regarded as important events that should be differentiated largely for behavioural reporting purposes.
  2. Redefining conversions in GA4: The term “conversion” will be redefined in GA4 to refer only to events that are shared with Google Ads. With this new concept, conversions will be measured consistently across Google Analytics and Google Ads eliminating discrepancies between the platforms.
  3. Conversion performance reporting: Conversion reporting will live in the advertising workspace, where new cross-channel conversion performance reporting will be introduced. In this report, users will see conversion consistency between GA4 and Google Ads.

A callout that the initial launch will focus on Google Ads and GA4, with a long-term vision of expanding to GMP. For 360 customers with Sub & Roll-up properties, conversion reporting will come online as a fast follow.

What does this all mean?

In a nutshell, from now on, events that measure actions that are important to the success of your business are now called 'key events.' You can use the behavioural data from your key events to improve the user experience across your websites and apps.

A 'conversion' now refers to an important action that you want to use to measure the performance of your ad campaigns and optimize your bidding strategy. With an aligned definition of 'conversion' across Google Ads and Analytics, you can now, for the first time, view consistent conversion-based performance metrics in both Google Ads and Analytics reports.

What action do I need to take?

At a high level, no action is required to preserve conversion setups with this launch and there will be no impact to bidding. The necessary changes will be made in the backend for existing GA4 users, including those bidding towards GA4 conversions in Google Ads. See below for a breakdown of what this looks like:

  • All existing legacy conversions will be marked as Key Events in the GA4 UI.
  • Moving forward, all events sent to GA4 are eligible to be marked as key events, and all key events are eligible to be created as conversions. 
  • Existing legacy conversions exported to Ads will be automatically redefined to the new conversion nomenclature. There will be no changes to the Ads bidding set-up and no impact on bidding. 
  • To create conversions moving forward, ensure the event is marked as a key event, and then create the conversion directly within the Google Ads UI. 

Where can I learn more? 

Help Center

Collect user-provided data without a user ID

With this update, you're no longer required to send a user ID before you collect user-provided data from your website or app. If you collect user-provided data without sending a user ID, Google will now leverage the user-provided data you send to construct a hashed and pseudonymized user ID to provide better cross-platform user reporting and support conversion measurement and audience sharing.

Additionally, you can now request the deletion of user-provided data using user-provided data in addition to standard identifiers like user ID, client ID, and app instance ID.

Learn more about user-provided data collection.

Google Marketing Platform Admin API

Google introducing the first version of a new API for Google Marketing Platform users, enabling organizational administrators to:

  • Upgrade or downgrade properties between standard and Analytics 360
  • Link Google Analytics accounts to organizations

With this update, organization details are now included in the accounts list in the Admin API, connecting the existing Admin API to the new Google Marketing Platform Admin API.

Learn more about the Google Marketing Platform Admin API.

Universal Analytics 360 product changes

As previously communicated, starting March 2024, Universal Analytics 360 advertising features (remarketing, conversion export, bidding optimization) will no longer be supported for traffic from the European Economic Area (EEA). Additionally, certain features such as real-time reporting and API, and real-time BigQuery export will no longer be supported on Universal Analytics 360 for all traffic.

Learn more about the deprecated Universal Analytics 360 features.

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