Why Google Analytics & Search Console Data Never Match

Why Google Analytics & Search Console Data Never Match

While Google Analytics measures advertising ROI and tracks your Flash, video and social networking sites and apps, the company’s free Search Console helps you monitor, maintain and troubleshoot the presence of your website in the engine’s search results.

However, the data from each one does not match each other, so the two can be hard to reconcile – despite the fact that it’s all accurate. The issue arises from what is being tracked and how the search giant opts to present it. In other words, each service has a different way of gathering and reporting data. Due to them doing things like aggregating data differently, their various reports will always appear to have a discrepancy.

What is Google Analytics for?

Google Analytics provides information on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts and is aimed at showing how well a site is doing in terms of both site visitor activity and user engagement metrics, as follows:

  • Real-time traffic data
  • Performance goals including lead generation or purchases
  • User behaviour
  • Tracking how near traffic comes to conversions

What is Search Console for?

This tool is focused on website performance relative to search visibility. Its insights aim to give an understanding of how websites are doing in the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Among other functions, its indexing and search information also helps site owners to deal with issues to do with search visibility.

Search definitions differ

Each tool has a different way of defining what search is – and this is a key reason behind the results looking quite different. For example, Google Analytics includes Google Discover data, while Google Search Console doesn’t.

Other reasons for the discrepancies

  • Google Analytics only counts information from site visitors who have JavaScript activated on their browser
  • Analytics sometimes can’t gather info due to blocking from privacy-focused browsers and extensions
  • Analytics reports data far more quickly than Search Console – there can also be time-zone discrepancies
  • Search Console Performance reports sometimes leave out information from particular queries – for example it omits what it deems to be ‘very rare search queries’ for reasons of privacy, while anonymised queries are excluded when filtered in the Performance report for the same reason
  • To some extent, Search Console aggregates landing pages, while these links are not aggregated in Analytics
  • Search Console can only report data for up to a thousand URLs for landing pages, while Analytics is not limited in the same way

Remember, the issue is not the accuracy of the data.

At Front Page Advantage, we understand the various differences between Search Console and Google Analytics, plus all the reasons behind them, in detail. Give us a call if you have any queries, and we’ll be glad to answer them.