Google Sunsets Optimize. What About the Future of Marketing Experiments?
Published: January 23, 2023
Google recently announced that Google Optimize will be phased out on September 30, 2023. Optimize will no longer be available in any form after this date. It includes all versions (360 and Standard) as well as all integrations (browser and server-side, Universal Analytics, and Google Analytics 4).
Optimize allows users to test web page variants and see how they perform against a predefined goal. Optimize tracks the outcomes of the experiment and tells which variant is the clear winner.
Google launched Google Optimize around five years ago to enable businesses of all sizes to enhance their user experiences.
We are continuing to invest in A/B testing in Google Analytics 4 to help businesses of all sizes improve their user experiences. We are committed to providing our customers with the most effective solutions and integrations, especially as we look toward the future with Google Analytics 4
Google insists all users download their historical data from the Optimize user interface before September 30, 2023. After the sunset date, users will no longer be able to access your experience inference results or historical Google Analytics 4 raw data. Depending on which users are linked to Optimize, the data will be available in either UA or GA4.
Users who extend or renew their Google Analytics 360 (Universal Analytics) contracts in 2023 will be able to renew their Optimize 360 contracts with service dates ending on or before September 30, 2023. Users who accepted Google Analytics 4 contracts will not be able to sign Optimize 360 contracts but will have access to Optimize through the integration in Google Analytics 4 until the sunset date of September 30, 2023.
What must be the marketers’ move in view of this new announcement?
One of the most common controlled experiments used by marketers to optimise web marketing strategies is A/B testing. According to the statistics released by finance online, tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook perform nearly 10,000 A/B experiments a year, and the most common A/B testing area is websites.
With the Optimize platform, Google gave thousands of brands the option to dip their toes into experimentation before taking the big leap. Despite the fact that it lacks some advanced features that are critical for successful experimentation testing, its capabilities and freemium availability remove barriers to exploring experimentation practices.
Now, the sunset of Google Optimize is certainly a huge disappointment for marketers. The future of A/B testing may be in jeopardy. Without an obvious free alternative, the number of brands that A/B test may decrease.
However, we were also informed by Google's announcement that Google is working on developing a more robust Google Analytics 4 environment.
So, we expect Google will provide more flexibility and speed going forward with the added functionalities in GA4. We anticipate more information and launch updates on these GA4 A/B third-party integration and conversion optimization features in the forthcoming months. Also, it's not sure if the A/B testing capabilities will be available in the free GA4 or the paid GA4 360 tools.
But for now, marketers that rely on Google Optimize should look for alternative experimentation platforms that suit their budget and needs.
Some popular enterprise AB testing tools include:
- Optimizely – Runs on Google Cloud platform and touted to be the best alternative.
- VWO – A budget-friendly option for midsize businesses and works in conjunction with Optimizely for enterprise brands.
- Convert - A testing and web personalization software with high-quality experiment tools.
- Adobe Target – Test variations across multiple platforms including website, mobile apps, IoT, etc. Suited for enterprises.
While it’s sad to see Google Optimize disappear soon, it is time for marketers to look beyond Google Optimize and take their marketing experiments beyond AB testing.
Get Marketing bites delivered to your inbox. Every Friday.
Be the first one to comment.