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Google Search Console vs Google Analytics: What Is The Main Difference?

Google Search Console vs Google Analytics

There are countless tools available for improving your website. Website analytics tools are among the most helpful tools for marketing, along with SEO tools, image optimization tools, website speed tools, cybersecurity tools, content management systems, and others.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrases “use Google Search Console” or “use Google Analytics” a million times if you’re looking for an analytics platform for your website.

These programs, which are both run by Google, could initially appear to be comparable. Though are they? The simple response is “no,” but the reasoning behind it is a little nuanced. This post will compare Google Search Console vs Google Analytics and explain what each one is, what it does, and how it differs from the other to help you use both tools.

Let’s go!

Google Search Console

Google Search Console
Google Search Console

Google first introduced the current “Google Search Console” feature in 2006. It offers a variety of tools to help customers understand how search engines interact with their websites when it was first known as “Google Webmaster Tools.”

In 2015, Google changed the name of the program to “Google Search Console.” Google Search Console product manager Michael Fink identified the tool’s target market as “everyone who cares about Search,” which includes “hobbyists, small business owners, SEO specialists, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters” in the announcement article.

The target market for Google Search Console is still the same today.

Google released a new version of the Google Search Console in January 2018. In September 2019, Google totally phased off this outdated tool, which means you can only use the new one today.


Currently, Google Search Console has a wide range of capabilities, including:

  • Sitemap submission: The pages and files on a domain are described in depth by a sitemap.
  • Crawl rate monitoring: The number of requests Google’s crawlers makes to your site per second is known as your crawl rate.
  • A list of internal and external links for the domain:
  • Core web vitals reporting: This tool displays the performance of your pages based on actual user activity.
  • Keyword monitoring. Included in this are the search terms users use to find your site.
  • Security issue monitoring: This function scans websites for security holes that could let malware or hackers in.
  • Website speed reports: This function can assist you in speeding up your website, which is important for maintaining traffic because, according to Google research on 3,700 mobile internet sessions, 53% of users will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics
Google Analytics

Urchin on Demand and Measure Map were the two pieces of software that gave rise to the first concept for Google Analytics. In 2005, Google purchased Urchin Software Corp, the owner of Urchin on Demand, and in 2006, Adaptive Path, the owner of Measure Map.


Since August 2006, Google Analytics has been accessible to the general public (Google initially launched it with a limited network, but it wasn’t scalable). In 2011, Google made significant updates to the platform, and in 2012, it released a new version called “Universal Analytics.” 

Later, Google unveiled a number of additional versions, including Google Analytics 360 in 2016.
Users have been using Google Analytics 4 (often known as “GA4”) from 2020.

The following are a few of Google Analytics’ most significant features:

  • Custom reports: Google Analytics lets you build reports for each marketing channel so that you can watch the metrics that are important to you.
  • Visualizations: These will help you watch for trends.
  • Goal monitoring: You can use this feature to set goals and track progress toward them.
  • Audience monitoring: Google Analytics can show you information about your visitors, including their location, gender, and age.

Google Analytics has many competitors that offer similar features.

How Do Google Search Console and Google Analytics Work Together?

Google Search Console and Google Analytics are frequently used together, despite the fact that the two programs may appear to be rivals. For Google Analytics, they specifically include data from Google Search Console as a source.

This can give you more thorough data on your digital marketing, which can assist you in increasing website traffic and optimizing your SEO efforts. Additionally, since you can generate reports and visualizations using Google Search Console data, it facilitates the reporting of your marketing data.

The two tools are relatively simple to connect. You just:

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click “Acquisition” and then “Search Console.” Select any of the four options listed (“Landing Pages,” “Countries,” “Devices,” and “Queries”).
  3. Press “Set Up Search Console Data Sharing.” Enter your property settings and press “Save.” You’ll see a note that says “Success.”

Key Differences Between Google Search Console vs Google Analytics

You now comprehend the history, parallels, and fundamental use cases of Google Search Console and Google Analytics. In light of these considerations, let’s compare the two tools and discuss their differences.

1. Data/Measurements

The data that each platform gathers for you is the first important factor to compare.
Although Google Analytics collects dozens of data, the majority of users only use a select few. 

The most noteworthy metrics are:

  • Bounce rate: The percentage of internet visitors who “bounce” from your site without visiting any other pages is known as your bounce rate.
  • Unique pageviews: Any view of your website counts as a regular pageview according to Google Analytics. The number of pageviews less all of the views from persons who viewed the page more than once in a single session is the number of unique pageviews (for example, by reloading the page).
  • Average session duration: This is the typical amount of time visitors spent viewing your content. This statistic is calculated by Google Analytics by dividing the total number of sessions by the sum of all sessions in seconds.
  • Conversions: A “conversion” according to Google Analytics is anything that is “critical to the success of your business.” This covers both macro-conversions, such as a product purchase, and micro-conversions, such as joining your email marketing list.
  • Audience demographics: Users are categorized by Google Analytics based on their age, gender, affinity categories, in-market segments, and other factors. Google Analytics characterizes each of those as follows:
Data Measurements

The metrics Google Search Console tracks relate more to your website than to your audience. Notable metrics and measurements include:

  • Impressions. The number of people who saw your link on Google.
  • Clicks: The number of people who clicked your link.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): Your CTR measures the frequency with which online users click on your website after finding it in search engine results. By dividing “clicks” by “impressions,” Google determines it.
  • Keyword queries: The keywords that your pages rank for are included in this statistic (and what people search for to reach your page).
  • Number of backlinks: These are links pointing to your site.
  • Internal links: The number of links directing people between pages of your website.
  • Mobile usability: This is how well your website works on mobile.
  • Index coverage reporting. This collection of measurements shows you how Google’s crawlers use your site.
  • Average position. This is your typical position on search engine results pages (SERPs). Since 55,2% of Google users click on one of the top three results, you should ideally rank well.

You may have seen from this list that each of these measures aids website owners and marketers in valuing their websites and marketing initiatives. Because of this, even though Google Search Console and Google Analytics have different use cases, you should use both to get the analytics you require.

Info: You can use Google Analytics to track impressions, clicks, average position, and CTR if you include Google Search Console data as a data source.

2. Clicks and Sessions

Some terms (like “location”) are defined consistently by Google across Google Analytics and Google Search Console. “Clicks” and “sessions” aren’t two of those terms; as a result, they stand out as a crucial area where the two platforms diverge.

No matter how many times a user clicks a link during the course of a single browsing session, Google Search Console counts a “click” as any view to a page. In contrast, Google Analytics only records one click (or “unique pageview,” as we discussed in 1. Data/Measurements) every session.

Think about a real-world scenario when someone visits your website, refreshes the page, leaves, and then clicks the link once more. Google Analytics would only record one click, whereas Google Search Console would record three.

This logic applies to sessions, as you might expect. A session, according to Google Search Console, is whatever a user performs after clicking on a search engine result. A session, according to Google Analytics, is whatever a user performs within 30 minutes of visiting a website.

Google Search Console would thus record two sessions in the aforementioned scenario, although Google Analytics would only record one.

Unexpectedly, non-HTML pages like PDFs appear under the 2. Clicks & Sessions category as another point of distinction. Google Analytics counts non-HTML views but Google Search Console does not.

3. Verification Process

SEO

Before they can begin providing you with data, Google Search Console and Google Analytics both ask you to validate your domain or data source. This method operates a little bit differently, though.

You can register for Google Search Console by signing into your Google account and visiting this link. In order to add your website and validate your domain, go as follows:

  1. Choose the type of property. The choices are “Domain” or “URL Prefix.” The option we advise is “Domain,” as it will enable Google Search Console for all of your subdomains and protocol prefixes. In contrast, Google Search Console will only track visits to your precise domain if you select “URL Prefix.”
  2. You must now show proof that you are the domain’s owner. Verify your website using an HTML tag, an HTML file, Google Analytics, or Google Tag Manager if you chose “URL Prefix.” Alternatively, if you chose “Domain,” choose your DNS service provider, copy the provided text, and paste it into the “DNS” tab.
  3. Click “Verify.” It may take up to 72 hours to verify your site.

Logging into your Google account and clicking here will launch Google Analytics. After that, you must separately link each of your data sources by following the instructions (including your social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels).

You can also use a plugin like a Site Kit by Google or GA Google Analytics to use Google Analytics with WordPress.

4. Audience and Intended Use

Website owners, content creators, and web developers should all use Google Analytics and Google Search Console because they are both excellent resources. For those who don’t own or manage a website, Google Search Console offers nothing of value.

Each tool has a somewhat different focus. The technological components that help your website rank well in SERPs are the main areas of focus for Google Search Console. Google Analytics does concentrate on websites, but it also pays attention to social media, email marketing, and marketing initiatives.

In essence, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are synonymous with websites and digital marketing, respectively.

5. Reporting

Digital marketing
Digital marketing

There are many differences in how reporting-related data is handled by Google Search Console and Google Analytics.

First off, only one website can have data reported under a single Google Search Console account. Therefore, if you own several domains, you’ll need a separate account for each (unless you have subdomains).

However, if you add Google Search Console as a data source, you will only receive data for the domain that is associated with the account. In contrast, a single Google Analytics account can provide data for numerous domains.

Second, data from redirected URLs can be reported by Google Analytics. With Google Search Console, this is untrue. It will report the traffic as coming from a canonical URL if it comes across a redirected link.

A canonical URL is the one that Google considers to best represent the redirected links.
Last but not least, how each tool’s default reporting dashboard functions varies.

6. Error Monitoring

Google Search Console offers thorough information on issues that stop website visitors from fully interacting with your site. For instance, it can determine whether users of your page have a “positive page experience,” including whether the website was compatible with mobile devices and whether HTTPS was used.

The “Security Issues” tab additionally checks your website for the following three security issues:

  1. Hacked content (content that a third party puts there)
  2. Malware
  3. Signs of social engineering

Tools for reporting errors are less effective with Google Analytics. However, it can detect 404 error pages, data validation faults, JavaScript flaws, and other user issues.

7. Daily Record and Query Limit

If you have 1,500 blog entries, Google Analytics will gather data from each one for you since it currently reports on an unlimited number of URLs daily. The approach used by Google Search Console is different. Per the website, the daily record limit is 1,000 URLs.

Google Analytics has a query cap of 50,000 requests per project per day and 10 queries per second (QPS) per IP address.

You are only permitted a certain amount of searches at once with Google Search Console. The load limits for Google Search Console are measured in QPS, QPM, and queries per day (QPD). 

What is prohibited?

  • 50 QPS and 1,200 QPM per website
  • 50 QPS and 1,200 QPM per user
  • 100,000,000 QPD per project (Google defines a project as “calls made using the same Developer Console key”)

The “load” that Google Search Console considers “represents the internal resources consumed by a query,” according to Google. You only need to wait a few minutes and try again if you exceed your load quota.

These restrictions won’t affect you if you’re a typical user, but it’s still important to be aware of them.

8. Videos

In this post, we’ve previously discussed how each tool manages data, but it’s also important to observe how each tool manages videos.

Simply enough, Google Analytics doesn’t display web and video data individually, unlike Google Search Console does. In order for video producers to know how their videos rank on Google, Google implemented this modification in 2018. The “Videos” tab is included in the “Enhancements” menu.

9. Integrations

You may share your data across platforms by integrating Google Search Console and Google Analytics with other technologies.

Popular Google Analytics integrations as of the beginning of 2022 include:

According to “How to Do Google Search Console and Google Analytics Work Together?” Google Search Console and Google Analytics are integrated. Additionally, it offers an API for those that require programmatic access.

10. Pricing

Data Analysis
Data Analysis

Currently, Google Search Console is cost-free, although there are usage restrictions. The majority of customers can also use Google Analytics for free, but if you want more capabilities, you’ll need to purchase Analytics360. Analytics360 offers premium features like in-depth insights, a tool that can answer questions about your data, and predictive data analysis using machine learning (ML).

For big enterprises and people who need to process plenty of data, there is Analytics360. For it, Google utilizes bespoke pricing.

11. Bot Activity

Everything else may become inaccurate once your analytics tool starts detecting bot activity, including your bounce rate, audience demographics, keyword information, etc.

What is the handling of bots by Google Analytics and Google Search Console? A “Bot Filtering” feature in Google Analytics looks for activity that doesn’t resemble the typical behavior of human users. You can also manually filter out suspicious bot activity if you notice any patterns in it (such as a location).

Bot activity is automatically filtered out by Google Search Console.

12. Traffic From Google My Business

When a business has a Google My Business listing, it might be difficult to distinguish between organic search engine traffic and visitors that click “Website” on the listing. Fortunately, by adding an Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) tag to the listing, you can distinguish between the two.

Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console allow you to track UTM data, although they do so in slightly different ways. While Google Search Console will classify it as “Google” traffic, Google Analytics will count it as a regular click.

13. JavaScript and Ad Blockers

Without going too technical, JavaScript is necessary for Google Analytics to function. As a result, users who have deactivated JavaScript on their browsers cannot provide Google Analytics with data. A few plugins, notably ad blockers, allow users to choose not to have their data collected by Google Analytics.

Without using JavaScript, Google Search Console collects data. As a result, your data can be slightly different if you use both apps.

14. Default Time Zone

Finally, there are subtle differences in how the two applications handle time zones. Google Search Console utilizes Pacific Daylight Time (UTC — 08:00), whereas Google Analytics uses your time zone.

Users of both apps should be aware of this since if they use different time zones, your daily traffic statistics might not match.

Since Google Search Console’s time zone cannot yet be changed, you must simply take this into consideration when submitting data.

Summary

Because they are both Google-owned marketing tools for data-savvy website owners, Google Search Console and Google Analytics are sometimes mistaken with one another.

They aren’t the same, despite their resemblance. You may keep tabs on your website’s performance generally and in search engine results with the aid of Google Search Console. 

Google Analytics enables you to discover additional information about your users, including their demographics, source of discovery, and behavior on your website. The reach of Google Analytics goes beyond your website and includes social media and advertisements.

The two tools also differ regarding:

  • The metrics they assess
  • How they measure activity
  • How they handle data
  • How you can use them

Increase Your Outreach With Damex Digital!

As with all things, learning how to manage Google Search Console and Google Analytics data takes time. Precious time which you may not have due to other matters regarding your business. 

The shortage of time has resulted in most people neglecting or completely abandoning the idea of a robust data analysis. Many even fall into the trap of Google Search Console vs Google Analytics and think they have to choose one or the other. They are clueless about how both tools are used to complement each other.

In this age of the internet, you need your data analysis to be robust to rank your website and increase your business outreach.

If you lack the time to manage data analysis with Google Search Console and Google Analytics, by yourself, you should hire professionals to do it for you! Damex Digital is a professional digital marketing agency based in Smithers, Canada providing comprehensive solutions for all your digital marketing problems.

Damex Digital provides you with highly-skilled, professional digital marketing experts managing all aspects of your digital marketing strategies. Leave the digital marketing strategies of your business, while you take care of other matters pertaining to your business.

There are sparingly few agencies which provide digital marketing services to small business owners. And those that do provide such services, tend to be subpar and of low quality.

Noticing this lack of quality digital marketing services for small and medium-sized businesses, we founded Damex Digital. Damex was created with the sole intention to provide high-quality digital marketing services specifically catered toward serving small business owners.

Although relatively new, we have defined our place within this crowded field of Digital Marketing and have managed to stand out amongst the numerous agencies with our well-established reputation, high-quality work, and affordable marketing services. If you require any digital marketing services don’t hesitate to contact us.
Get higher ROI, boost your conversion rates and increase your revenue with professional Digital Marketing services by Damex Digital!

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Damex
http://damexdigital.com

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