Google Analytics – Classic Vs Universal?

How Google Universal Measures Against Google Classic

Businesses that take advantage of analytics software have the opportunity to view detailed statistics about their website’s traffic and traffic sources. The service measures website activity and performance and shows how many visitors have viewed a site, how often they come back, how they were referred to a site, where they are coming from, which site pages have been the most viewed and the average time a user has spent on the site. Detailed reports offer the ability to strategically market more efficiently.

One of the most popular analytics software is Google Analytics, which offers a free version that provides a vast array of features. However, with the announcement of the release of Google’s Universal Analytics, the classic version many businesses have taken advantage of for years may see a limitation in services that are offered. Because moving from the classic version to the new one can be a daunting task, assessing if the move is justifiable for your business is a top priority before making the switch.

Similarities between Classic and Universal Analytics
• According to, both interfaces operate through a JavaScript application and both create and transmit data via Google’s servers to disseminate reports.
• There aren’t any new report features in Universal as of yet.
• The application navigation is very similar, though the features differ.

Differences between Classic and Universal Analytics
• According to Amaze Emetrics, in the classic version of Google Analytics a visitor that uses different browsers or devices to visit a website will be logged as multiple unique users. Universal utilizes user identification, allowing tracking of the same user between multiple browsers and devices.
• Universal’s tracking code is completely different and uses only one cookie; the classic version stores information in four cookies. The result is that analytics are now sent directly to Google servers. The change provides better flexibility and easier customization features that allow tracking – even if cookies have been disabled.
• Universal Analytics allows the possibility to import even offline conversions and data and allows tracking from different applications and devices.
• Classic allows only five custom variables in the free version or 50 for the premium version; Universal provides 20 custom variables in the free version and 200 in the premium one.

analyticsThere may be benefits to switching to Universal Analytics; however, there are some things to take into consideration first. The classic version shouldn’t be tossed out just yet because it does offer some advantages to the newer version. There are some things classic analytics offers that Universal doesn’t yet, including:

• Adsense integration
• content experiments
• Google display network impression reporting
• remarketing features

It is important to weigh how important these features are for your website before making the decision to switch. When determining which version best suits your company’s needs, Amaze Emetrics suggests that businesses continue using the classic analytics until Universal comes out of the Beta version. Businesses may consider waiting until Universal becomes a complete, finalized product before making the switch.

Leave a Reply