In May, the new Google Search Console (GSC) Search Analytics Report was made available.
This release, followed by debut of the Search Console API, made it easier than ever to take advantage of Google’s own measurement of your site’s movement in SERPs.
Unfortunately the Search Analytics Report user interface has a 90-day historical limitation, so SEOs were limited to CSV downloads or using the API.
This article, How To Find Historical Google Search Query Data in 8 Clicks was first published on SearchEngineWatch, and aims to provide an eight-click solution to get around the 90-day historical limitation, create non-brand keyword weekly comparison reports, and have them sent to your inbox every Monday.
How to make Google Analytics Store GSC Search Query Data in Eight Clicks
To configure the integration of GSC and Google Analytics, start at the Dashboard of the desired Google Analytics profile.
Then click the following in this order:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Set Up Webmaster Tools Data Sharing
Assuming you have the proper permissions, this will take you to the Admin section. Scroll down to the bottom and click Adjust Webmaster Tools.
You’ll be taken to the Webmaster Tools Settings page. Click the Edit button.
If you don’t see your site, check to make sure it’s properly associated with the logged-in Google Account. You can also see this by toggling the account in the upper right-hand corner.
Next click OK. This will give you instant access to the Google Analytics version of GSC Search Query data.
If you are having difficulty, check GSC Support for details on how to effectively troubleshoot.
Once you are in, you will encounter some odd nuances that are a result of this integration such as:
- Rounded Numbers. Strangely numbers are rounded in Google Analytics, even though Google stopped doing this in GSC a long time ago.
- Limited Filtering Abilities. This is compared to the Search Analytics Report available in GSC.
- Exact Match only applies to Google Property.
- You can’t filter both Country and Google Property.
- Though this can be found on the GSC Search Analytics user interface, there is no Device filtering.
However, it’s still possible to leverage the functionalities of Google Analytics in order to collect useful information. In addition to gathering historical GSC query data with ease, you can generate email reports for non-brand keyword comparisons and schedule automated delivery times.
Here is an example of a week-over-week non-brand keyword comparison report of Impressions, Clicks, Average Position, and CTR.
Once created, customize your schedule to have the data sent to your inbox.
The option to link Search Query Data with Google Analytics has existed since 2011 – yet many have been apprehensive try it due to concerns regarding the accuracy of the data. However, over the years Google has made a number of improvements to refine this accuracy – even providing a list of reasons why it may not align with other sources. Consequently, many SEOs and agencies have since changed their tune.
While it’s possible to build more advanced custom page-level keyword reports using the new API, this integration is quite possibly the fastest way to begin storing data and building actionable reports. As you let your development resources to wrestle with the technical specifications of the API, you can expand you comparison reports month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, or even year-over-year.
Amalgamating Google Analytics with GSC Search Analytics Data does come with a small degree of restrictive baggage, but it’s worth. Even with the limited filtering functionality and rounded numbers, you can avoid the 90-day data window limitation as well as flag potential issues, quickly gain insight, and ultimately form a solid SEO strategy.