Skip links

5 Differences between GA4 and UA

Google Analytics is one of the most widely used tools for tracking website analytics. It helps website owners and marketers to understand user behavior, traffic sources, and conversions. Google recently launched a new version of Analytics, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is quite different from the previous version, Universal Analytics (UA). In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top five differences between Google Analytics UA and Google Analytics 4.

Google’s Universal Analytics is set to sunset on the 1st July 2023 – transitioning to GA4 completely. 

Data Collection Model

The primary difference between UA and GA4 is the data collection model. UA uses a session-based model where each website visit is considered as a new session. GA4 uses an event-based model, which tracks all user interactions with a website as events. This model allows for more detailed tracking of user behavior and makes it easier to analyze user journeys.

Cross-Device Tracking

Another key difference between UA and GA4 is the way they track user behavior across devices. UA uses a cookie-based approach to track users across devices. However, this method is not always reliable as users may clear their cookies or switch devices. GA4 uses a more advanced approach that relies on user IDs to track users across devices. This allows for a more accurate understanding of user behavior across different devices.

Machine Learning

GA4 uses machine learning to provide more in-depth insights into user behavior. It can automatically identify user segments based on behavior patterns and provide predictions on future user behavior. This feature is not

Reports & Metrics

GA4 offers a new set of reports and metrics that are not available in UA. For example, it provides a detailed analysis of engagement and user retention. It also includes a set of predictive metrics that can help marketers make informed decisions about their campaigns.


Finally, the implementation process for GA4 is quite different from UA. GA4 requires the installation of a new tracking code on the website, which is not backward compatible with UA. This means that website owners and marketers need to create a new property in GA4 and set up a new tracking code.

In conclusion, GA4 is a major upgrade from UA and offers many new features and improvements. The event-based model, cross-device tracking, machine learning, new reports and metrics, and a different implementation process make it a much more robust and sophisticated tool for website analytics. As more and more websites transition to GA4, marketers will need to adapt to the new features and metrics to stay ahead of the competition.

Have you made the switch to GA4 yet? If you want more support in doing so, contact us to find out how we can help.