Google has said that “Google signals will be removed from the reporting identity on February 12, 2024“. This update is set to effect all Google Analytics 4 properties, including reporting tools. In this blog article, we will look at what Google Signals is, what the reporting identity means in the context of Google Analytics, and how removing Google Signals from the reporting identity will impact reports.
This new change will apply to all of your Google Analytics 4 properties and will only affect reporting features. Google Analytics will still collect Google signals, when enabled, to be used in demographics and interests reporting.
1. Introduction to Google Signals
Google Signals utilises data from users who are signed into Google and have opted in to share their Google account data with Google Analytics 4. When Google Signals data is accessible, Analytics links event data collected from users with the Google accounts of signed-in users who have granted consent to share this information.
Google Signals, a feature within Google Analytics, harnesses the data of anonymous signed-in Google users to offer valuable insights into user behavior. Enabling Google Signals allows for the collection of demographic and interest data to enrich your reports, including essential metrics like age, gender, and user interests.
The reporting identity in Google Analytics refers to the collection of user data into a unified and comprehensive view. It enables marketers and analysts to regularly track user behaviour, resulting in a more accurate picture of the user journey. When enabled, Google Signals, as part of the reporting identity, helped to enhance reports by using data from signed-in Google users.
2. Impact of Removing Google Signals from Reporting Identity:
The implementation of a robust data layer is crucial for accurate tracking and reporting in GA4. Discrepancies may arise when the data layer values, especially those related to products, are inconsistent throughout the e-commerce journey. This inconsistency can stem from misalignment between the data layer and actual product details.
Cross Domain Tracking:
This change could potentially disrupt cross-device tracking. With the removal of Google Signals from the reporting identity, tracking users across different devices may become more challenging. However, from our experience, we’ve observed that anonymous signed-in Google user data is seldom utilized in reports. Unless you’re overseeing a large-scale site with numerous users who have opted to share this information, the impact of Google Signals’ removal from your reporting identity is unlikely to be significant.
Decrease in Thresholds:
You should notice a reduction in the thresholds being applied in your reports, which is a good change. This indicates that there’s a greater chance you’ll see all available data in Google Analytics. You should see an improvement in your reports since thresholds are typically set when using Google Signals and gathering smaller amounts of data.
Before the 12th February hits, do make sure you are aware of how this may affect you.