Why Google Search Console & Google Analytics Data Never Matches

If you’re looking for a tool to measure your website’s performance, you’ve come to the right place. Google Analytics (also known as Search Console) is one of the most powerful tools out there, and it’s something every website proprietor should have access to.

As a digital marketing company, you rely on accurate data to make informed decisions and measure the success of your campaigns. However, you may have noticed a frustrating discrepancy between the data provided by Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

In this blog post, we will delve into this perplexing issue and explore why the data from these two powerful tools never seems to match up. So, unravel the mystery and shed light on the discrepancy between Google Search Console and Google Analytics data.

Let’s explore the reasons why there may be a mismatch between Google Analytics and Search Console metrics.

Why Does Google Console And Google Analytics Data Never Match?

1. Different tracking methods

This is one of the major reasons why some Google Analytics metrics and Search console metrics do not agree. The tracking code placed by you on your website will show how your user behaves on your site, like the number of pages they view, bounce rate, time spent per session, among others. For instance, Search Console monitors your website’s performance on Google’s search results which include number of clicks, impressions, average position among others.

Since Google Analytics and Search Console use different techniques of tracking, sometimes they report data differently. For instance, Google Analytics reports more page views as compared to Search Console since it includes other pages but Search Console reports from Google search results.

2. Timeframes

One more reason for the misalignment of values by Google Analytics and search console performance depends on the various intervals employed. Google Analytics may report the information about a person’s visit to the website and Search Console reports based on the time the spider bots crawled the website. This implies that data may not perfectly align, especially if your website goes through regular updates and revisions.

As such, even if you change your website after Google has crawled it, Google may not update its data in Search Console until it crawls your website again. This may lead to delayed data reporting that will not reflect what Google analytics indicate or search console.

3. Data sampling

In case a large dataset is involved it utilizes data sampling to approximate data. Data sampling is the process of studying a subset of data and using those results as an estimate of the whole dataset. This may give slightly different figures, especially if your site receives a huge amount of traffic or has extensive data.

Importantly, Google does not carry out sampling in the Search Console. Instead, the actual data from the search engine is reported. This means that there could be differences between what the search console reports and the metrics on google analytics, but for large datasets.

4. Filtered data

Data filtering might be applied differently for Google Analytics and Search Console. For instance, Search Console may not include traffic from some countries or devices, whereas Google Analytics may not. This may lead to a discrepancy between the numbers as reported by the respective tools when you have applied different filters on each tool.

The difference between various tools must be reduced by making sure that the same filters are used, otherwise there might be bias. This will give you a better picture on how your website is performing.

5. Attribution models

Different attribution models are utilized in Google Analytics to assign credit to various marketing channels. Attribution models, in simple words, calculate the share of credit that a particular touch point takes, such as the first touch point, the last touch point or a combination of touch points.

It could lead to diverse metrics for the same referral source, depending on whether you have different attribution models set up on each tool. Hence, it is fundamental to align the attribution models for each of these tools so that there will be no variance in the given metrics.

6. JavaScript

Google Analytics uses a piece of code written in JavaScript which allows this program to gather relevant information regarding the behavior of a user while navigating through your site. Nevertheless, it is important to mention that the data collected by Google Analytics can be either inaccurate or incomplete when users have disabled JavaScript in their browsers or there are mistakes within the JavaScript tracking code. On the one hand, Search Console uses Google’s search engine results to provide website performance information without depending on JavaScript.

7. Caching

Google analytics depends on javascript tags and if your site uses caching for faster page generation may affect the data provided by Google Analytics. Caching is the storing of one’s copy of a website so that you do not have to generate a new page every time. As a result, it might lead to the occurrence of repeated page views or inconsistencies in the data that will be shown by Google Analytics. On the other hand, the Search console relies on user actions and shows how the website performs in Google search which does not take any impact from caching data.

8. Non-HTML Pages

Search console mainly reports the performance of your site on the google search, which includes indexing and ranking of all forms of content in your site that includes not just HTML pages but also PDFs, videos, and images among others. Nevertheless, Google Analytics deals with tracking of users’ behavior on HTML pages, therefore, the data for non-HTML pages may not be reliable. An example of such a case is when a user downloads a PDF file from your website using Google Analytics which may not be able to track the user’s behavior.

As a result, if your site has a great deal of non-HTML content, then you must employ alternative tools or methods to monitor the user behavior on such pages, e.g., event tracking or specialized analytics tools designed for specific kinds of content. By doing so, you can ensure that you have a more comprehensive view of how users are interacting with your website, regardless of the type of content they are engaging with.

Conclusion

It is also vital to employ both these tools together in order to obtain an overall idea regarding the nature of the website performance with respect to the SEO aspect. Search Console has crucial metrics about how your website appears on various Google searches such as impressions, clicks, and average position. On the other hand, Google Analytics gives you deep information about your site visitors such as traffic sources, age and gender of the visitors and the rate of conversion.

This will enable website owners to understand other reasons that may lead to the gap between search console metrics and those of Google Analytics.