GAuniversal-imageThere have been a lot of questions (and a lot of rumors/panic) around the deadlines for upgrading your Google Analytics tracking code to Universal, and we wanted to give you all a brief rundown of what we know right now. Keep in mind that (with Google being Google) this information could change any day, and was compiled in late March 2016. We will provide updates to this post as we learn of any new deadlines.

Basically, sometime in the near future, Google is likely going to announce that the old tracking code libraries (like the asynchronous code or classic tracking codes) will be deprecated. Below is the official verbiage from the Universal Upgrade center maintained by Google (you can visit the official Universal Upgrade Center page here):

GoogleUniversalMessage

As you can see, there will be a minimum of 2 years to get your code updated once Google makes the official announcement that the old versions have been deprecated.

However, it’s best to get your code upgraded within the next year to make sure there is ample time for the new version of tracking to run side by side with the old version (which will mitigate a spike in new visitors and direct traffic).

And there are other benefits of using Universal:

  • More configuration options:
    • Set referral exclusions (this can pretty much eliminate the risk of self-referral problems)
    • You can manually make some search terms count as direct traffic
      • For example you can count users searching organically for ‘www.mysite.com’ as direct traffic instead of organic (if desired)
    • Configure your campaign timeout periods (up to 2 years)
  • You can’t implement Enhanced Ecommerce without Universal Tracking code (Stay tuned for a future post about all the great benefits of enhanced ecommerce!)
  • Properties using an older collection method like the ga.js JavaScript library (asynch), will not receive access to all future product changes.

So, with all these great benefits, why would you want to wait to upgrade? – you’re going to have to do it eventually anyway. If you’d like any assistance in mapping out your upgrade plan so you can maintain your historic reporting views without experiencing any data inaccuracies during upgrade, please reach out to Blue Moon Digital for a free consultation. And if you have any general questions, please feel free to leave a comment for us here. Take care, and happy upgrading!