Search Analytics in Google Search Console

Google Search Console has a feature called Search Analytics that is really helpful for webmasters. This post explains why you’d want to use Search Analytics, what it can help you find and what type of data it has.

NOTE: This post is about an older version of Google Search Console, and some of the tools and charts referenced are not accessible in newer versions. For information on newer versions, you should read our beginner’s guide to Google Search Console.

On May 5th 2015, Google confirmed what we’ve been anticipating for years: mobile search has overtaken desktop search. On their Inside AdWords blog, they stated the following:

more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

Let’s let that sink in for a moment, combining it in our heads with the recent Mobilegeddon roll-out. The question for most people and companies is: how does this affect my/our website? Luckily, Google’s Search Analytics report in Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) answers just that question (and many more) for you.

Using Search Analytics to measure impact

If you go to Google Search Console you’ll find a new report under Search Traffic called Search Analytics. For, it shows that the impact of the mobile update was absolutely negligible:

yoast com mobile traffic

As you can see, this new report allows you to do a lot of awesome filtering. One of the features I like a lot is the ability to filter by a keyword, like “mobilegeddon”, compare it to a previous date range and also, filtering deeper on top of that. For instance, we can see how many people reached our site searching for that keyword, comparing desktop versus mobile search:

Mobilegeddon search traffic - desktop vs mobile search

We could then filter these by country as well, should we want to.

Comparing brand versus non-brand searches

It’s obvious that when people use your brand name in their searches, they’re more likely to click on your site in the results than otherwise. Just how big that difference is something Search Analytics can make very clear for you. For instance, compare these results: [yoast seo] versus [wordpress seo]:

compare yoast seo wordpress seo

As you can see, the already high 10.62% for [wordpress seo] is completely obliterated by the 62.33% for [yoast seo]. This is why we focus on building a brand as a part of our holistic view on SEO campaign as much as we do.

Search Analytics – Search Type report

Another very interesting new feature in this report is the Search Type filter. This allows us to look specifically for clicks from Video Search, something that’s very hard to measure in other ways. For this shows us that we rank very well (and thus get many clicks) with the video on our Google Analytics plugin page, in part due to the optimization we do with our Video SEO plugin:

search analytics video

We also rank fairly well for the term [google analytics] in “normal” Web search. The problem is that that doesn’t really mean anything: when someone search for google analytics in web search, that is a highly navigational search: they probably want to log into Google Analytics. The difference becomes very clear when we compare the CTR of web searches with video searches:

google analytics search analytics type comparison

A CTR of over 12% compared to a CTR of 0.14%. Of course, we do rank lower on web and the CTR drops off a cliff as soon as you get below position #3, but it’s obvious how valuable these types of reports can be.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is something that we have not yet fully tested for our own websites. AMP is created to make pages load faster by stripping down elements users need to download when visiting a web page. Read more about AMP in Joost’ weekly recap

Up to you now: go play with Search Analytics!

It’s really up to you now, go play with Search Analytics and drop your favorite queries in the comments. If you all share nice combinations, we’ll figure out all the cool uses of this great tool together.

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23 Responses to Search Analytics in Google Search Console

  1. Mark
    Mark  • 5 years ago

    I don’t care for webmaster tools a lot but this definitely is a way they improved everything. Thanks for the share boss will definitely keep up with your posts and try to engage as much as possible.

  2. Mary
    Mary  • 5 years ago

    Google webmater tools is the way to improve SEO. Thank’s A Lot.

  3. Christoph
    Christoph  • 5 years ago

    thanks for your introduction,
    but do you know where to find the button “with change” to see how the impression etc. changed? If I activate the old search query report I still can activate the changes, but not in the new one…!? For me it is interesting for SEO to see how that values changed and which ones get better or not

  4. Romano
    Romano  • 5 years ago

    Very useful tips. Just checked the impact of mobilegeddon for some of our websites and am conforted by the graphs.

  5. Vincent Lowe
    Vincent Lowe  • 5 years ago

    Hi, anyone can help with an issue? Let’s say I have a Thailand website. When I download keyword data from Webmaster tools I can select a location filter. If I filter traffic from everywhere vs. from Thailand only, impressions/clicks can be significantly different. Why is the reason for this? Which data is more relevant to analyze?

  6. Ataul Ghani
    Ataul Ghani  • 5 years ago

    Hey Yoast,

    You’re awesome man! I always follow your tips to get success on my blog. As well as i like this post.

    Thank you!

  7. Bos Go Blog
    Bos Go Blog  • 5 years ago

    hi jost.
    until now i don’tt understand with google analytics.

  8. Pratik Mehta
    Pratik Mehta  • 5 years ago

    Great work from Google. Happy to see this feature and helping us to do more analysis at deeper level.

  9. Eshwar Prasad
    Eshwar Prasad  • 5 years ago

    Hi ,

    I checked the new webmater tools and it looks much better than the previous version. Overall a great effort from Google.

  10. Joris
    Joris  • 5 years ago

    Finaly webmaster tools become more useful! Thanks for the post.

  11. Regenschirm
    Regenschirm  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this very useful insight. See you – in three weeks!

  12. Quincy Tshiananga
    Quincy Tshiananga  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for casting your light on this, Joost. I just fiddled with the options and already got some good ideas to where I can improve my websites in terms of SEO.

  13. Ratchaphol @SMMTIPS
    Ratchaphol @SMMTIPS  • 5 years ago

    Great post Yoast!

    I was surprised yesterday too as i noticed that i lost my impression graph! I usually first look at the impression on most of my website first since my CTR is very bad.

  14. Pierre Laingq
    Pierre Laingq  • 5 years ago

    My pain with this is that you can still only filter one keyword at a time. Why don’t they just allow regex!

  15. Alex Smith
    Alex Smith  • 5 years ago

    Most user friendly update of GWT.

  16. Britto
    Britto  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing very useful insight in to Web Tools.

  17. Ashik
    Ashik  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing such a info, I love the Webmaster tool beta version.It’s awesome when compared to previous.

    Thanks for Sharing Yoast!

  18. Hanif Sipai
    Hanif Sipai  • 5 years ago

    Hey Joost, First of all thanks a lot for sharing. It’s really a positive move from Google to help Webmasters out there.

    We also try to combine some the information in one of our new post, if someone needs more details they can visit


  19. Amit Sharma
    Amit Sharma  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the information

  20. Stijn Vogels
    Stijn Vogels  • 5 years ago

    I’ve got it work work in some of my reports, but not for others. Strange. I’ll check again in the morning.

  21. Amar Ilindra
    Amar Ilindra  • 5 years ago

    This is really an useful move by Google for webmasters. Thanks for showing a quick view to use the search analysis feature

  22. Haroun
    Haroun  • 5 years ago

    Its time to play some more on webmasters now…

  23. Nigel Abery
    Nigel Abery  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for the great posts Yoast! My instant thought when I logged into webmaster tools (before reading your post) was WOW what happened to my site traffic? Then after realising that it was a different set up, it was YEA this rocks!

    I really do like the way the new layout shows the clicks more clearly on the secondary axis on the graph with impressions.
    All the other new functionality is also really cool.