[GA4] Conversions are now “Key Events”

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has started rolling out a small but impactful change: the renaming of “conversions” to “key events.” While this had been speculated on, it seems the ship has sailed.

The objective behind this renaming is to establish a clearer distinction between Google Analytics and Google Ads conversion events. On the surface, this makes sense, a welcomed differentiation. However, the term “conversions” has been a cornerstone term within the GA terminology for about two decades. It’s deeply ingrained in the analytics community, documentation, YouTube videos, and the rest. It is likely this move will be causing more confusion than clarity, at least in the short term.

Adjusting to new dimensions and terminology can disrupt workflow efficiency and lead to a period of adjustment and confusion. The question arises: was this renaming truly the best approach to achieving the desired differentiation?

Will this cause confusion for analytics developers and engineers? “Key events” is a common term in event-driven programming. It can be argued it has a similar meaning, but is it the same? It’s hard to say.

The rollout is still on its initial stages, so it remains to be seen whether the renaming will extend uniformly across all GA4 reports or if it will be confined to specific sections related to advertising.

While the initiative to refine terminology and clarify distinctions between GA and Google Ads is understandable, renaming one of the most foundational terms in GA without changing the definition will likely create discomfort with those for whom GA has become second nature.

Google, we love you, but you can sometimes make things a bit difficult. And sometimes it is not clear why.

Jose Uzcategui

Global Lead / Sr. Analytics Consultant

Jose Uzcategui

Mr. Uzcategui joined Ayudante in Japan after working for ASICS and Amazon. His position previous to Ayudante was as a team leader, working on data construction/implementation and performance improvement using the Google Marketing Platform and the cloud. His hobbies are playing squash and cooking. He enjoys studying Japanese, Spanish, and English, and spring in Japan is his favorite season.