Google to sunset Google Optimize at end of September

Hans Hoogenboom

Head of CRO

Industry News

Google has announced that it will sunset its web analytics and A/B testing tool, Google Optimize, at the end of September 2023. The tool, released over five years ago, was created to help digital marketers and webmasters optimise websites to improve conversion rates and general visitor satisfaction.

Here is a brief retrospective of Google Optimize to give the webtool a proper send off.

A brief history of Google Optimize


Google launched Google Optimize as an updated version of Google Website Optimizer. Although Google has always offered a paid 360 version of Google Optimize (which we resell at Search Laboratory, along with the rest of the tools that make up the GMP stack), it is better known for its free version.

Optimize 360 was a formative tool in helping experts in the digital marketing industry understand conversion rate optimisation (CRO). At its height, Google Optimize had a 60% market share against competitors, mainly because it is a free tool, and because Google often offered Google Optimize 360 contracts as a free incentive for businesses signing up for Google Analytics.

However, as Google has rolled out Google Analytics 4, they have had issues integrating data streams from Optimize. As such, despite the previous success of Google Optimize, in January 2023, Google announced it would be sunsetting the product on September 30, 2023, with no plans for a successor.

The pros and cons of Google Optimize


As one of the first CRO tools, Google Optimize deserves credit for introducing most of the digital marketing industry to CRO best practices. However, as most users chose to use the free version, the tool was limited in its functionality when compared against competitors.

Therefore, although Optimize enabled businesses to get start assessing conversion rate optimisation, Optimize often fell short in delivering everything digital marketers needed.

What’s next for A/B testing and CRO?


Despite rumours that there would be a new A/B testing feature in GA4, Google has denied they are working on a successor to Google Optimize. As such, businesses will need to adopt different conversion rate testing solutions, which bring with them their own range of pros and cons.

As companies explore new testing options, they must foster innovation in their processes, to rethink their strategies. However, while this can benefit large, established businesses, smaller companies will most likely suffer, without a free solution like Google Optimize.

For businesses searching for alternatives to Google Optimize, Search Laboratory has partnered with two tools; Optimizely and Webtrends Optimize.

Optimizely is an excellent option for any business, while Webtrends Optimize is ideal for smaller to larger non-enterprise organisations.

While these partnerships present a range of options for our clients, we remain objective and will work with any tool that suits a client best, in terms of budget and features.

What should businesses be doing now that Google Optimize is sunsetting?


As we say goodbye to Google Optimize, we look forward to what the future brings, and how businesses review, experiment, and adapt their testing strategy towards optimum conversion rate optimisation.

With just a month to go before Google Optimize sunsets, time is running out for businesses to discover a new CRO testing tool and should start seeking out an alternative as soon as possible.

Thankfully, we can help businesses explore what options are available and the CRO features organisations should be looking for, given their needs and budget.

Need to improve conversion rate optimisation?Discover how our CRO experts can help you