Raise your hand if a client 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 – this is to boost our keyword rankings, they say.
But is there any legit research to support these claims?
As it turns out, a lot of SEO experts have covered this topic.
So is Google Analytics use as a ranking factor fact or fiction?
Keep reading to find out.
The Claim: Google Analytics As A Ranking Factor
You may hear the claims that removing Google Analytics from your website will hurt your search engine rankings, possibly even causing Google to penalize you.
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.
Is Google Analytics A Ranking Factor?
Before we get going, let’s address 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 been making this clear since way back in 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:
“Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any way for our rankings”
Then, Google’s Gary IIlyes addressed it again in 2017:
Not convinced? Let’s hear it again from Google’s John Mueller, this time via Twitter in 2018.
He continued to clear up any confusion that Google Analytics is not required for search.
Can I Get Penalized For Using Google Analytics On Google?
I know it can be difficult to understand what can and can’t be penalized on Google — especially when you read articles like this from Google Analytics competitors.
Bill Hartzer, SEO Consultant and my long-time SEO idol, stepped in to ask Mueller for his take on this piece.
John Mueller’s response:
This was also confirmed back in 2010, again by Matt Cutts. He said:
“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.”
Does Google Use Google Analytics To Improve Indexing?
Another ranking factor myth busted: Google does not use Google Analytics for indexing.
I heard it from Google’s John Mueller himself:
Google Analytics As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict
There you have it! Google Analytics is not a ranking factor.
If your SEO agency tells you that your site needs it to rank, you should find another SEO agency.
The conspiracy theories you’re hearing about Google wanting your SEO team to use Google Analytics to get more details about your strategies are completely false.
There is more to Google’s algorithm than pimping its own products out to the algorithm, at least for now.
Featured image: Paulo Bobita