A powerful tool that helps website owners see how users interact with their sites is Google Analytics (GA). The amount of data we can obtain from Google Analytics is so extensive that it has been widely held for more than ten years that Google Analytics information is a ranking factor.
Since Google Analytics provides such in-depth information, a theory has circulated that GA data affects rankings for more than a decade. It’s possible that someone who is exploring employing an alternative already uses Google Analytics as the bulk of websites on the internet utilize it for web statistics.
Is Google Analytics really that highly effective that it can influence Google search results? Let’s find out in this article. Just keep reading below!
The Claim: Google Analytics As A Ranking Factor
One of the many factors used to rank webpages in Google’s How Search Works documentation is their relevance. A pro-con debate exists in the SEO community about whether or not a website should use GA. It’s been going on for a long time.
Some businesses even have policies prohibiting workers from accessing Google Analytics because the SEO team was worried that Google would learn more about the techniques they were doing.
People are concerned that Google would penalize their rank in the search engine results. They’ll anticipate Google punishing a website if they truly see everything, as I pushed Google Analytics outside of their corporate guidelines.
People worry that Google may rank your website in searches using their statistics. No Google will probably result in a potential drop in ranking. But is this hype worth the sweat?
Google uses aggregated and anonymized interaction data in addition to simple keyword matching to determine whether search results are pertinent to queries.
Data from these sources is converted into signals that are used by their machine-learning systems to estimate relevance more accurately. This is known as “interaction data.”
Some marketers contend that these variables include stats like the average time spent on a page, the proportion of repeat visitors, the bounce rate, the organic click-through rate, etc.
That makes sense, given that those are the indicators that marketers are accustomed to and are aware of as representing the interactive data Google may be seeking. Marketers could also observe a relationship between the indicators’ improvement and their rise on the SERP.
Is it possible that by using GA, we are helping Google better understand how people use our website?
Something similar to a bat signal for SEO? Can we sway search engine results by providing Google with additional “interaction data” to use?
The Evidence Against Google Analytics As A Ranking Factor
There is no evidence to suggest Google Analytics is a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, even if we didn’t have direct access to it. Let’s find out the truth!
Both GA and the search algorithm are exclusive Google products. We are unable to see what is happening inside of them since they are like black boxes to us.
Instead, Google staff members have already addressed similar queries and worries. Here are some of those responses.
First, Google personnel have made it very clear and consistent that GA data is not used as a ranking factor.
John Mu has commented on tweets about how Google Analytics affects rank as recently as March 16, 2022.
A marketer jokingly remarked that Google could just claim that using GA4 would enhance ranking if they wanted people to use it. That won’t happen, John Mu retorted.
Google seems to be denying the notion that its analytics services have any impact on rankings.
While still employed by Google, Matt Cutts, the former leader of the webspam team, responded to the query in two separate videos that were posted on the company’s Official YouTube channel on the same in 2010.
What did the video quote?
That video quoted the following:
“At PubCon a few years ago which is a WebmasterWorld Conference somebody said,”Do you use Google Analytics and–in Web spam?”
So I said, “Not only doing not used in Web spam, I promise you, my team will never go and ask the analytics team to use their data. And we’ve held true to that promise.”
Hence I got asked this at the most recent PubCon and I was like, “Well, I know we don’t use it in Web spam. I don’t know about all of the search quality. I don’t think that we do. But to my knowledge, no one uses it.”
So when I saw this question, I went ahead and emailed the most senior, most knowledgeable person who would know about this. And I said, “We don’t use Google Analytics in our ranking in any way, do we?”
And the one-word reply was, “No.” So, there you go. Taken a long time to say a relatively short answer, which is “Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any way for our rankings”
There was another video on a similar question “Will using Google Analytics have a negative effect on my ranking?” which quoted:
“The answer is no. Webspam does not use Google Analytics, and a while ago I went and checked and search quality in general does not use Google Analytics in ranking. So, you can use Google Analytics, you can not use Google Analytics, it won’t affect your ranking within Google search results”
Still Need More Proof?
Listed below are three highly competitive websites without a GA tag ranking in the top 10.
1. Ahrefs, an SEO tool, famously does not use Google Analytics
Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, tweeted in December 2019, “Every time I tell fellow marketers that we don’t have Google Analytics at ahrefs.com, they react with ‘NO WAY!’” With over 12,000 non-branded keywords, Ahrefs is ranked in the top 10 positions.
2. Wikipedia is also famous for the same
Google’s search results are dominated by Wikipedia articles, which rank highly for definition-type searches like “computer,” “dog,” and even “Google.” And it ranks for all of this despite the fact that there is no Google Analytics code on the site.
3. Ethereum is the NFT-based example of the same
For the NFT platform, Ethereum is ranked among the top 10. Over a million searches occur for the enterprise-level term NFT each month in the US alone. There is no Google Analytics installation on the Ethereum website.
The Final Verdict: Is Using Google Analytics A Ranking Factor?
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for understanding how people find our website and what they do once they arrive. Additionally, we can observe an improvement in GA data when we make changes to our website, such as making it simpler to browse or upgrading the content.
Consequently, the question “Does Google use Google Analytics to figure out their search results?” has been answered. is a resounding “no,” according to Google employees. Google does not include any data from Google Analytics in its search algorithm.
Over the past 10 years, several Google workers have provided this response numerous times on social media, in official Google content, and at various SEO and digital marketing conferences.
It makes no difference whether Google Analytics is installed on your computer or not. Your search rankings and the amount of traffic you receive from Google’s search results won’t change as a consequence.
The GA code on your website does not, however, generate an SEO bat signal. The GA code does not act as a signal to Google, nor does it facilitate Google’s evaluation of relevance (if your website answers the user’s search query).
You should use the “bat signal.” Although GA does not affect rankings, it may show you if you are moving in the right or wrong direction. Currently, Google search has become worse because people don’t use this “bat signal” properly.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Apart from whether Google Analytics is a ranking factor, here are some other related questions people frequently ask, listed below:
1. Does Google use analytics data for ranking?
Google Analytics is not a ranking factor, to be clear.
2. What are Google’s ranking factors?
The terms in your search query, the relevancy and usability of the sites, the authority of the sources, and your location and settings are just a few of the numerous aspects and signals that search algorithms use to provide you with the most relevant information. Depending on the specifics of your inquiry, different weights are assigned to various factors.
3. Does Google use Google Analytics for SEO?
In short, yes. A web analytics service like Google Analytics provides statistics and analytical tools for search engine optimization and marketing.
4. What are the 4 SEO rank factors?
Following are the 4 most important SEO rank factors for any website:
- A Secure and Accessible Website.
- Page Speed (Including Mobile Page Speed)
- Mobile Friendliness.
- Domain Age, URL, and Authority.
5. What are the 3 key ranking factors that Google uses in their algorithm?
The key to understanding and defining the search query is to understand and clarify its meaning and intent. Furthermore, Google uses the following three strategies in the algorithm:
- User experience
6. What is Google’s ranking algorithm called?
PageRank (PR) is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search engine results. It is named after both the term “web page” and co-founder Larry Page. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages.
7. Is Google my business a ranking factor?
Through the use of Google My Business, one of the ways Google has given users the ability to improve their ranking and online presence.
8. Is Social Media a Google ranking factor?
Social media does not directly affect SEO rankings, but the links you share on social media platforms help to promote your brand.
9. What is the difference between SEO and analytics?
The distinction is that, although Google Analytics allows you to track and offers you a full view of traffic from marketing initiatives, social media, search engines, etc., Google Search Console advises SEO techniques that yield traffic through search engines.
10. Why Google Analytics is important for SEO?
The act of gathering, monitoring, and analyzing website data to boost conversion rates and develop organic traffic is known as SEO analytics. This is crucial since it enables you to see possibilities, understand your consumers better, and increase SEO ROI.
In this post, we’ve provided a thorough explanation of how using Google Analytics will or won’t impact your website’s rating. It’s now up to you to confirm or believe that. People who don’t use Google Analytics on their websites myself haven’t seen any unfavorable consequences. So, plan and employ ranking best practices as per your website requirements.