Is using Google Analytics a search ranking factor?

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

??

Google Analytics isn’t just for website data, oh no, it’s about improving our keyword rankings, they say.

But is there any legitimate research to back up these claims?

It turns out that many SEO experts have covered this topic.

So, is the use of Google Analytics as a ranking factor a fact or a 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 hurt your search engine rankings and even cause Google to penalize you.

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

There are a lot of assumptions, but I’m here to drop some knowledge.

The proof

Is Google Analytics a Ranking Factor?

Before we begin, let’s cover the obvious:

No, Google Analytics is not a ranking factor.

Google Analytics is a tool that allows you to measure ROI and better understand your customers. Google has made this clear since 2005, when it acquired Urchin Web Analytics, now known as Google Analytics.

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 in no way used in the search quality for our rankings”

Then, Google’s Gary IIlyes touched on it again in 2017:

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

Not convinced? Let’s hear it again from Google’s John Mueller, this time via Twitter in 2018.

John Mueller on Google Analytics as a Ranking FactorScreenshot by author, July 2021.

He continued to dispel any confusion that Google Analytics is not required for research.

Is using Google Analytics a search ranking factor?

Can I be penalized for using Google Analytics on Google?

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

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Bill Hartzer, SEO consultant and my longtime SEO idol, stepped in to ask Mueller for his opinion on this piece.

Simply Analytics Blog's Misinformation on GA as a Ranking FactorScreenshot by author, July 2021

John Mueller’s response:

John Mueller on Simply Analytics Blog's Disinformation on GA as a Ranking FactorScreenshot by author, July 2021

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

GA as a discussion of the ranking factorScreenshot by author, July 2021

“The answer is no. Webspam does not use Google Analytics, and awhile ago I went to check and search quality in general does not use Google Analytics in the ranking.

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

Matt Cutts on GA as a Ranking FactorScreenshot by author, July 2021

Does Google use Google Analytics to improve indexing?

Another Broken Ranking Factor Myth: Google doesn’t use Google Analytics for indexing.

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I heard it from John Mueller of Google himself:

John Mueller on Research Analyzes and RankingsScreenshot by author, July 2021

Google Analytics as a ranking signal: our verdict

Is using Google Analytics a search ranking factor?

Here is! Google Analytics is not a ranking factor.

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If your SEO agency tells you that your site needs it to rank, you should find another SEO agency.

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

Google’s algorithm isn’t just about offering its own products to the algorithm, at least for now.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

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