Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe?

Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe?

- in SEO

Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe

30-second abstract:

  • Truthful knowledge assortment is when individuals are keen to share segments of their digital selves with out making a gift of the entire image
  • Google’s knowledge empire appears to backfire on its presence in Europe as Italy  joined France and Austria in ruling that Google Analytics is overstepping boundaries
  • Whispers quickly grew to become shouts when the Italian Knowledge Safety Authority (DPA) discovered that Google wasn’t the truth is doing sufficient to masks these IP addresses, which means customers could possibly be simply recognized
  • What influence will this have on the search engine marketing business and can extra international locations be a part of this revolt?

Consider your on-line knowledge like items of a jigsaw. All assembled, these make a crystal clear image of you – your IP deal with, pursuits, identify, and so forth. Have a look at one or two items at a time although, and you’ll’t get a lot from it.

That is what is taken into account honest knowledge assortment. You’re keen to share segments of your self, however not the entire image.

GDPR (Normal Knowledge Safety Regulation) is partly about ensuring companies like Google don’t get sufficient particular person items to see the entire of you. That is additionally why their Analytics service is getting some unhealthy press in the intervening time, notably in Europe. 

The service is used to trace each quantitative and qualitative details about individuals on an internet site, similar to what number of energetic customers there are and what their gender could also be. Monetary data like income or promoting ROI can also be out there if related to your web site. By way of person knowledge, there may be not sufficient to determine somebody particularly, however there is sufficient to assist companies perceive their demographics.

Nevertheless, Italy just lately joined France and Austria in ruling that Google Analytics is overstepping the boundaries of ‘honest assortment’ and breaching GDPR guidelines.

Whereas Google does anonymize knowledge to a sure extent, there have been all the time whispers that the IP addresses of customers had been simply accessible. These whispers quickly grew to become shouts when the Italian Knowledge Safety Authority (DPA) discovered that Google wasn’t the truth is doing sufficient to masks these IP addresses, which means customers could possibly be simply recognized.

At this level, the empire of expertise they’ve constructed is nearly working in opposition to the search large. Once they accumulate a lot knowledge, these jigsaw items begin to pile up shortly and once they have all of the instruments to place the jigsaw collectively, that’s when international locations like Italy need to put their foot down.   

The argument of Italy, and shortly to be many different areas, is that Google merely has an excessive amount of data that isn’t masked correctly. That is far past the everyday fingerprints, individuals go away as they use the web. As the info used on Google Analytics should journey by servers on American soil, additionally they think about this an extra violation – citing the 2020 Schrems II ruling specifically. 

Lots of questions nonetheless stay. How will this have an effect on the search engine marketing business in these international locations? With GA4 nonetheless a good approach off, ought to enterprise house owners put in place a special answer? Which different international locations will comply with go well with – Japan, California, or some other EU nation?

I’ve teamed up with Laura from Ruler Analytics to convey you some suggestions and info that can assist you each perceive, and cope with, what’s happening.

Transfer to GA4, the earlier the higher

Google Analytics is about for change. As of July 2023, Common Analytics will not be out there. What precisely Google Analytics four will lastly seem like is unsure at this level. 

However what we do know is that that you must create a GA4 account sooner reasonably than later. 

By setting it up now, you’ll have the historic knowledge that you must apply new instruments and options too down the road.

Bear in mind, Google Analytics four will solely give you knowledge retention for 14 months. Organising GA4 now and studying how one can use the platform pays dividends sooner or later and preserve you ready for the change. 

Although the cookie dying is in 2024, transfer away now

Put money into first-party cookies. As we noticed with iOS 14.5, advertisers like Google and Fb are vastly impacted in terms of knowledge monitoring with third-party cookies.

First-party cookies are cookies that you simply personal, that stay in your web site. The information you accumulate and create is your individual. And meaning you will have unbiased knowledge that may’t be eliminated at a whim’s discover.

Knowledge autonomy, whereas nonetheless respecting GDPR guidelines, is completely paramount for entrepreneurs. 

Handle the belief of your prospects but additionally accumulate the info that you must create personalised, trackable buyer journeys. 

As soon as the cornerstone of paid promoting, third-party cookies will quickly be redundant with platforms like Fb and Google scrambling to create a alternative that also works for his or her promoting fashions.

Cease counting on Google Analytics for greater than net analytics

Google Analytics is an online analytics platform. And a very good one at that too.

What Google Analytics shouldn’t be, is a visitor-level income analytics device. 

Meaning you possibly can’t entry knowledge like: 

  • Particular person full buyer journeys
  • Correct advertising and marketing supply 
  • Closed income or pipeline technology 

However as Google is regularly appeared upon unfavorably from a knowledge safety standpoint, it’s potential that we would see extra international locations struggle in opposition to it. 

To arrange for this, that you must type your knowledge. 

Have a look at the instruments you’re presently utilizing and how one can make your instruments work smarter for you.  

Google Analytics will proceed to be an amazing device for understanding your web site analytics. Whereas it’d see tighter restrictions on the info it makes use of and shares, it’s best to nonetheless get entry to normal web site metrics. So, in terms of precisely monitor customers out of your web site and connecting them to closed leads and income, that you must be wanting elsewhere.

Advertising attribution is one such device that may assist. It makes use of first-party cookies in your web site which means you will have complete autonomy over your knowledge. 


To wrap up, the subsequent steps are clear. How we use knowledge is altering. And extra importantly, how tech giants like Google are being regulated on knowledge is altering as effectively. 

To get forward of it, arrange a Google Analytics four account initially. Subsequent, take a look at what knowledge you’re amassing and the way you’re amassing it. Revaluate your data-capturing journey and practices. 

If you’re monitoring knowledge like lead conversions, or crave extra perception on touchpoint knowledge, then that you must reevaluate your advertising and marketing tech stack.

Be ready for the truth that you may lose perception into web site customer knowledge and begin searching for alternate options to be sure to proceed to feed your instruments the info they want.

Matthew Rogers is Head of Marketing campaign Administration on the high Manchester-based digital market company Add Folks and has over 14 years of promoting expertise. You’ll be able to comply with him on LinkedIn right here. He’s additionally a long-standing member of the Click on Z Collective Advisory Board.

Laura Caveney is Head of Advertising at Ruler AnalyticsLaura has over 6 years of expertise in delivering end-to-end advertising and marketing campaigns and discusses the trials and tribulations entrepreneurs face daily on her LinkedIn channel.

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