Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful tool that lets website owners find out how users interact with their websites.
The amount of information we can get from Google Analytics is so in-depth that a theory has been flowing, for over a decade, that GA data is a ranking aspect.
Is Google Analytics really effective sufficient to affect Google search results page?
Let’s take a more detailed look.
[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Factors: Truth or Fiction
The Claim: Google Analytics As A Ranking Factor
In Google’s How Browse Functions documents, we can see that a webpage’s relevance is one of the numerous factors used to rank web pages.
Screenshot from Google’s How Browse Works, June 2022 One of the most basic relevancy signal is that the
material includes the very same words as the search inquiry. Additional info about how Google determines a page’s importance is offered. Beyond simple keyword matching, Google states,”We likewise
use aggregated and anonymized interaction data to examine whether search engine result are relevant to inquiries. We transform that information into signals that help our machine-learned systems better estimate significance.” Screenshot from Google’s How Search Works, June 2022 What is”interaction data,” and
where does Google get it? Some online marketers hypothesize that these aspects
consist of metrics such as time on page, natural click-through rate, bounce rate, total direct traffic, portion of repeat visitors, etc. That makes good sense because those are the metrics online marketers are familiar with and comprehend to represent the interactive data Google might be looking for. Online marketers might also notice a correlation in between the metrics enhancing as their position in the SERP enhances. Is it possible that we are in some way enhancing Google’s understanding of our site’s user experience using Google Analytics? Like some sort of SEO bat signal? Can we directly influence rankings by providing Google more “interaction data”to work with
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The Total Guide To Google Ranking Aspects The Proof Against Google Analytics As A Ranking Aspect While we do not have direct access to Google’s algorithm, proof shows Google Analytics as a ranking element
is not a possible theory. Initially, Google agents have been clear and consistent in stating that they do not use Google Analytics information as a ranking element. As just recently as March 16, 2022
, John Mu has actually responded to tweets about Google Analytics affecting 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, an online marketer suggested if Google wanted individuals to utilize GA4, they could simply say it would improve ranking. John Mu replied,” That’s not going to occur.” Google appears to continually be batting down the concept that its analytics services affect ranking in any method. Back in 2010, when we were tweeting to snag the top spot in results for a few moments, Matt Cutts stated, “Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any way for our rankings.””Is Google Analytics data a consider a page’s ranking?”Google Browse Central, June 2022 And you do not have to take Google’s word for it. Here are 3 websites ranking in the top 10 for extremely competitive keywords that do not have the Google Analytics tag on their website. 1. Ahrefs, an SEO tool, notoriously does not use Google Analytics
. Screenshot by author, June 2022 Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, tweeted in December 2019,”Whenever I tell fellow marketers that we don’t have Google Analytics at ahrefs.com, they react with’NO CHANCE!'” 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 posts control Google search engine result, ranking effectively for definition-type searches such as computer, dog, and even the search question”Google.”And it ranks for all this without any Google Analytics code on the website. Screenshot by author, June 2022 3. Another example is Ethereum. Ethereum is ranking in the top 10 for [nft] NFT is an enterprise-level keyword with over one million month-to-month searches in the United States alone. Ethereum’s site does not have Google Analytics installed. Screenshot by author, June 2022 [Discover:] More Google Ranking Element Insights Our Decision: Google Analytics Is Not A Ranking Factor Google Analytics is an effective tool to help us understand how people discover our site and what they do when there.
And when we make changes to our website, by making it simpler to browse or improving the material, we can see GA metrics enhance.
However, the GA code on your website does not send out 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 assess significance (whether your webpage fulfills the user’s search query.)
The “bat signal” is for you.
Google Analytics is not a ranking aspect, however it can help you understand whether you’re heading in the right or incorrect instructions.
Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel