Google Analytics Announces New Data Retention Controls

by | e-Commerce News, SEO News

google analytics data

Data Retention Controls are Coming to Google Analytics in May 2018

Like many people, we opened our Analytics accounts this morning and were greeted with a blue message bar advising:

“We’ve recently launched new Data Retention controls that may affect your data starting May 25, 2018. Please review your settings and make any changes required.”

The full explanation of the controls work can be found in the Analytics help centre here.

Many users, frustrated by a lack of clear guidance thus far, will welcome this (perhaps more) direct response from Google Analytics to the upcoming introduction of the GDPR across the European Union on May 28th.

Who Does This Affect?

In short, everyone.

If you have a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to decide how long you want to retain user data for and choose one of the 4 available time periods or “Do not automatically expire”:

  • 14 months
  • 26 months
  • 38 months
  • 50 months
  • Do not automatically expire

Crucially, this will apply to both active and legacy Google Analytics – so if you have a collection of accounts, perhaps due to having multiple sites/apps or having had to switch accounts for some reason over the years, you’ll need to change the settings here too.

My View


Since the time of writing my original post, the option to “Do not automatically expire data” has appeared, making previous advice redundant.

Now, it’s as simple as selecting the “Do not automatically expire data” option in any Google Analytics profile you wish to retain your data in.

Next Steps

As above, select the “Do not automatically expire data” setting, however, if you do wish for your data to removed after certain time periods, my advice would be to export top level traffic data before expiry so that you have some form of past records for past reference if needed in the future.

Want further advice on GDPR, Data Retention or Google Analytics in general?

If so, contact our team here and we’ll be happy to assist.

Author: Stephen Harvey-Franklin Steve Harvey-Franklin

More From Us

How to Optimise Internal Links for SEO

How to Optimise Internal Links for SEO

In the vast landscape of search engine optimisation (SEO), the importance of internal linking is often overlooked in favour of external links. However, internal links are the backbone of the architecture of your website, and a strong internal linking structure plays a...

How to Choose the Best WordPress Plugins for Your Website

How to Choose the Best WordPress Plugins for Your Website

If you've had a gander into the wondrous world of Wordpress website building, you'll no doubt have heard of plugins, which are one of the biggest selling points of using Wordpress as a site building resource. However, if you're new to building websites, read on to...

5 Ways To Choose A Good SEO Agency

5 Ways To Choose A Good SEO Agency

An SEO agency is packed with talented professionals who can optimise your website so that it targets organic search traffic, secures high search engine rankings, and attracts customers by the bucketload. However, SEO is a tricky technical game where big players like...

Off-Site SEO – Which Strategy Will Boost Your Business?

Off-Site SEO – Which Strategy Will Boost Your Business?

The off page SEO strategy that is best for your business depends on a variety of factors, but having some form of off page SEO is vital, and should compliment your on page content to help you climb the search engine results pages. Twiddling, tweaking and tuning your...