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Google Analytics and Search Console data don’t match – and why

The data in Google Analytics and the search console do not match.

Mismatches give the impression that the data is somehow inaccurate.

In reality, the data is actually accurate. Mismatches exist in what is being tracked and in the way Google presents it.

Google Analytics vs Search Console

Coordinating data in Google Analytics and the search console can be difficult because the numbers don’t really match.

The reason is that both services solve different problems. As a result, both services take different approaches to how data is collected and reported.

Purpose of Google Analytics

Insights provided by Google Analytics should convey the performance of the website itself in terms of user engagement metrics (such as page dwell time), reporting conversion-related goals, and displaying site visitor activity on the website itself. It is designed.

Typical reports include:

It’s important to note about the data provided by Google Analytics that you are measuring the performance of your site (from the perspective of your site visitors).

Analytics provides feedback on web page performance, but the focus of the report is In relation to site traffic When Compared to what site visitors do..

Google Analytics Overview page Reflects the focus on site visitors:

“Understand your customers better. Google Analytics provides the free tools you need to analyze your business data in one place.

Understand your site … Users will better evaluate the performance of your marketing, content, products, etc. “

The fundamental purpose of Google Analytics is very different from the search console, as the search console focuses on website performance. In relation to search visibility..

Purpose of the Google Search Console

The insights provided by the search console are designed to help publishers understand the performance of their website in Google Search.

The Search Console also provides search and indexing data to help you troubleshoot search visibility issues.

At another level, the search console provides manual actions (penalties), hacked status, poorly configured structured data, mobile usability issues, and other useful information that helps publishers maintain their ideals. Provides a way for Google to actively communicate with publishers about search visibility issues such as search visibility in Google Search.

Finally, the search console is available to publishers. Debug localized language issuesSet Site-wide country target, Deny inbound linksAnd other tasks centered around improving search visibility.

Google Search console help page List these data points.

  • Make sure Google can find and crawl your site.
  • Fix indexing issues and request reindexing of new or updated content.
  • View Google search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, search queries that display your site, how often searchers click those queries, and more.
  • Receive alerts when Google detects indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
  • Shows which sites link to your website.
  • Troubleshoot AMP, mobile usability, and other search function issues.

The first reason that Search Console and Analytics data are different is that each product has a different purpose. That is, they do different things.

Explanation of mismatch between search console and analysis

Both services have different purposes, so Google Search Console and Analytics perform data aggregation and more in different ways. As a result, the reports are different and look like discrepancies.

The data is accurate, but displayed differently.

Below is a list of the various reasons why analytics and search console data may appear to be inconsistent.

Google Analytics vs Google Search ConsoleImage created by Paulo Bobita / Search Engine Journal, June 2022

Search definition is different

The main cause of the mismatch between Google Analytics and Search Console is that they both measure search traffic differently.

What Analytics calls search traffic is different from what Search Console calls search traffic.

Google Analytics categorizes Google Discover data into search categories.

This means that when analytics analyze organic search-related traffic, you can include traffic from Google Discover as well as traffic from Google Search Box.

However, the Google Search Console splits traffic from Google Discover and organic search results and displays a report of Google Discover traffic on its own.

Search console and analytics and JavaScript

Google Analytics only reports data collected from site visitors who have JavaScript enabled in their browser.

The Search Console collects data regardless of whether JavaScript is enabled in your browser.

Google Analytics is blocked from collecting data

Another reason the Search Console and Analytics don’t match is that Analytics tracking is increasingly blocked online.

Google Analytics cannot collect data from privacy-focused browsers or extensions that block analytics.

for example, DuckDuckGo browser extension When Mozilla’s Firefox browser Both block Google Analytics loading.

This is another way that the data collected by the search console may be more or less different from the data collected by Google Analytics, as the data in the search console is not blocked.

Time delay mismatch

Another reason traffic data reports differ between Search Console and Google Analytics is that Search Console data is delayed by a few days, while Analytics can report data within seconds.

Data may be incomplete on display due to delays in search console reports.

Search console skips specific queries

Because the search console protects the privacy of users, the search console performance reports exclude data from certain types of queries.

Google Described on the search console help page:

“To protect user privacy, performance reports do not show all data.

For example, you may not be able to track a very small number of queries or queries that contain personal or sensitive information.

Depending on how you process the source data, these statistics may differ from those listed in other sources (for example, to eliminate duplication).

However, these changes are not significant. “

Total of anonymized queries in performance reports

The data in the performance report does not match the analytics organic traffic data for the reasons mentioned above. Anonymized queries are another reason why search console performance data is further away from the data reported by analytics.

For privacy reasons, the Google Search Console omits what is called a very rare search query.

Anonymized queries are included in total However, it is not included if it is filtered in the performance report.

Google Search console support page status:

“To protect the privacy of the user executing the query, these results do not show very rare queries (called anonymous queries).

Anonymized queries are always omitted from the table. Anonymized queries are included in the graph sum unless you filter by the query (query with or without a specific string).

If your site has a significant number of anonymized queries, you may see a large discrepancy between the total and (the number of queries with some_string + the number of queries without some_string).

This is because the anonymized query is omitted each time the filter is applied. “

Difference in time zone

Google Analytics reports day and month level data according to the publisher’s time zone.

The publisher’s time zone is set in the Analytics view settings and you can set the preferred time zone for your website.

The Google Search Console reports data according to California Daylight Saving Time (PDT), regardless of the country or time zone in which your website is set.

This creates a situation where the search console assigns data to one time zone and Google Analytics assigns data to another time zone (if your site’s time zone is outside California).

This makes a big difference in how data is reported. This is because it effectively guarantees that daily and monthly traffic data will not match between Search Console and Analytics.

according to Google Analytics page for editing view settings:

“”Time zone country or region: The country or region and time zone to use as the date boundaries for the report, regardless of the source of the data.

For example, if you select US, Los Angeles time, the start and end of each day will be calculated based on Los Angeles time, even if the hit is from New York, London, or Moscow.

If you choose a time zone that respects daylight savings time, Analytics will automatically adjust your changes.

If you don’t want to adjust daylight savings time in Analytics, you can use Greenwich Mean Time instead of your local time zone. “

Difference in landing page URL

Search Console landing pages are aggregated to some extent, but Analytics does not aggregate landing page URLs.

Google’s support page explains:

“”Landing page dimensions: The Search Console aggregates the data with a legitimate URL (details), while Analytics uses the actual landing page URL.

This distinction affects reports that include landing pages and landing page dimensions that include device / country (if the landing page is added as a secondary dimension).

For example, web, mobile web, and AMP URL impressions and click metrics can be aggregated under a canonical URL. “

Search console data is limited

Another important difference between SearchConsole and Google Analytics data reports is that SearchConsole is limited to reporting data for up to 1,000 URLs on landing pages.

Google Analytics has no such restrictions and can report over 1,000 URLs.

Google Analytics The support page explains the difference:

“Number of URLs recorded per site per day:

The Search Console records up to 1,000 URLs for landing pages.

Analytics does not comply with the 1,000 URL limit and can include more landing pages. “

Differences between Search Console and Analytics data

There is a data discrepancy between Search Console and Analytics measurements and reports.

The reason for the difference depends on which time zone the traffic event is due to the landing page aggregation method.

The fact that there is a difference between the numbers reported in Search Console and Analytics does not indicate that there is a problem with the data.

These are just two different products that report data in different ways.

Other resources:

Featured Image: StockStyle / Shutterstock

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