Is using Google Analytics a ranking factor for search?

Raise your hand if a customer or your boss has ever asked you to put Google Analytics on their website to improve ranking?

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Google Analytics isn’t just for website data, oh no – this is supposed to improve our keyword ranking, they say.

But is there legitimate research to support these claims?

As it turns out, a lot of SEO experts have covered this topic.

So is the use of Google Analytics as a ranking factor fact or fiction?

Read on to find out.

The claim: Google Analytics as a ranking factor

You may hear claims that removing Google Analytics from your website will affect your search engine rankings and may even result in Google penalizing you.

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Or you may have heard that Google uses your Google Analytics data to rate your website.

There are many assumptions, but I’m here to drop some knowledge.

The proof

Is Google Analytics a ranking factor?

Before we get started, let’s address the obvious:

No, Google Analytics is not a ranking factor.

Google Analytics is a tool that helps you measure ROI and better understand your customers. Google has made this clear since taking over Urchin Web Analytics, now known as Google Analytics, in 2005.

Matt Cutts, former head of Google’s webspam team, answered the question in a 2010 video:

Cutts says:

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“Google Analytics is not used in any way for our rankings in terms of search quality”

Then, Google’s Gary IIlyes brought it up again in 2017:

Gary Illyes on Google Analytics as a ranking factor.Screenshot by the author, July 2021.

Unconvinced? Let’s hear it again from Google’s John Mueller, this time over Twitter in 2018.

John Mueller on Google Analytics as a ranking factorScreenshot by the author, July 2021.

He continued to clear up any confusion that Google Analytics is not required for search.

Is using Google Analytics a ranking factor for search?

Can I be fined for using Google Analytics on Google?

I know what can and cannot be penalized on Google can be difficult to understand – especially when reading articles like this one from Google Analytics competitors.

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Bill Hartzer, SEO consultant and my longtime SEO idol, stepped in ask Mueller what he thinks about the piece.

Incorrect information in the Simply Analytics blog about GA as a ranking factorScreenshot by the author, July 2021

Answer from John Mueller:

John Mueller on misinformation in the Simply Analytics blog about GA as a ranking factorScreenshot by the author, July 2021

This was also confirmed by Matt Cutts in 2010. He said:

GA as a ranking factor discussionScreenshot by the author, July 2021

The answer is no. Webspam doesn’t use google analytics, and some time ago I checked and search quality in general doesn’t use google analytics in ranking.

So you can use Google Analytics, you cannot use Google Analytics, it does not affect your ranking in the Google search results. “

Matt Cutts on GA as a ranking factorScreenshot by the author, July 2021

Does Google use Google Analytics to improve indexing?

Another ranking factor myth has burst: Google does not use Google Analytics for indexing.

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I heard it from Google’s John Mueller himself:

John Mueller on analysis and search rankingsScreenshot by the author, July 2021

Google Analytics as a ranking signal: our verdict

Is using Google Analytics a ranking factor for search?

There you have it! Google Analytics is not a ranking factor.

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If your SEO agency is telling you that your website needs it in order to get a ranking, then you should find another SEO agency.

The conspiracy theories you hear about Google that your SEO team should use Google Analytics to get more details about your strategies are completely wrong.

The Google algorithm has more to offer than pimp its own products to the algorithm, at least for now.


Featured image: Paulo Bobita


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