Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful tool that lets site owners find out how users engage with their webpages.
The amount of information we can obtain from Google Analytics is so in-depth that a theory has actually been flowing, for over a decade, that GA data is a ranking element.
Is Google Analytics really powerful enough to affect Google search results?
Let’s take a more detailed look.
[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Fact or Fiction
The Claim: Google Analytics As A Ranking Factor
In Google’s How Search Works documentation, we can see that a website’s importance is one of the lots of elements used to rank webpages.
Screenshot from Google’s How Search Functions, June 2022 One of the most standard relevancy signal is that the
content includes the same words as the search question. Extra info about how Google figures out a page’s relevance is supplied. Beyond easy keyword matching, Google states,”We also
utilize aggregated and anonymized interaction data to assess whether search engine result are relevant to questions. We change that data into signals that assist our machine-learned systems better approximate significance.” Screenshot from Google’s How Browse Functions, June 2022 What is”interaction data,” and
where does Google get it? Some online marketers assume that these elements
consist of metrics such as time on page, organic click-through rate, bounce rate, overall direct traffic, portion of repeat visitors, and so on. That makes sense since those are the metrics marketers recognize with and understand to represent the interactive data Google might be trying to find. Marketers might likewise notice a connection in between the metrics improving as their position in the SERP improves. Is it possible that we are somehow improving Google’s understanding of our site’s user experience using Google Analytics? Like some sort of SEO bat signal? Can we directly affect rankings by providing Google more “interaction data”to deal with
? [Ebook:] Download
The Complete Guide To Google Ranking Elements The Evidence Against Google Analytics As A Ranking Element While we do not have direct access to Google’s algorithm, proof shows Google Analytics as a ranking aspect
is not a possible theory. First, Google representatives have actually been clear and constant in stating that they don’t utilize Google Analytics information as a ranking aspect. As recently as March 16, 2022
, John Mu has responded to tweets about Google Analytics impacting rank.< img src="// www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20871%20521%22%3E%3C/svg%3E" alt ="John Mu GA4 tweet_thats not going to happen_screenshot"width="871"height="521"data-src="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/3.-john-mu-ga4-tweet_thats-not-going-to-happen_screenshot-634d125ea6b2b-sej.png"/ > Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, June 2022 In jest, a marketer recommended if Google desired individuals to use GA4, they could simply say it would enhance ranking. John Mu responded,” That’s not going to take place.” Google seems to constantly be batting down the idea that its analytics services influence ranking in any way. Back in 2010, when we were tweeting to snag the top spot in outcomes for a few minutes, Matt Cutts stated, “Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any method for our rankings.””Is Google Analytics information a consider a page’s ranking?”Google Search Central, June 2022 And you do not have to take Google’s word for it. Here are three sites ranking in the top 10 for highly competitive keywords that do not have the Google Analytics tag on their website. 1. Ahrefs, an SEO tool, famously does not utilize Google Analytics
. Screenshot by author, June 2022 Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, tweeted in December 2019,”Each time I inform fellow online marketers that we don’t have Google Analytics at ahrefs.com, they respond with’NO WAY!'” Screenshot from Buy Twitter Verification, June 2022
And the Ahrefs domain ranks in the top 10 positions for over 12,000 non-branded keywords.
Screenshot from Ahrefs.com, June 2022 2. Another well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikipedia articles control Google search results page, ranking extremely well for definition-type searches such as computer system, dog, and even the search query”Google.”And it ranks for all this with no Google Analytics code on the website. Screenshot by author, June 2022 3. Another example is Ethereum. Ethereum is ranking in the leading 10 for [nft] NFT is an enterprise-level keyword with over one million month-to-month searches in the United States alone. Ethereum’s website does not have Google Analytics installed. Screenshot by author, June 2022 [Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights Our Verdict: Google Analytics Is Not A Ranking Element< img src= "https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/rf-definitely-not-30-6143149c256b4-sej.png"alt="Is Utilizing Google Analytics A Browse Ranking Aspect?"/ > Google Analytics is an effective tool to help
us comprehend how individuals find our website and what they do once there. And when we make modifications to our website, by making it simpler to browse or improving the content, we can see GA metrics improve.
However, the GA code on your site does not send up an SEO bat signal.
The GA code is not a signal to Google, and it does not make it much easier for Google to evaluate significance (whether your website satisfies the user’s search query.)
The “bat signal” is for you.
Google Analytics is not a ranking element, but it can help you understand whether you’re heading in the right or incorrect direction.
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