Bill Hartzer

Google Search Console Search Analytics: Last Updated May 3, 2016

Google Search Console’s Search Analytics feature, the feature that allows you to see the keywords, impressions, clicks, and average position of your website’s pages, has not been updated since May 3, 2016. Usually, Google allows verified website owners to see their search query data up to the past two days (the data is delayed two days). However, this week, the Google Search Console Search Analytics data has not been updated since May 3, 2016.

The fact that, as of the writing of this post, the Search Analytics data has not been updated in 5 days is rather concerning. As SEOs, we are always trying to improve the quality of search traffic to our (and our client’s) websites. One of the major things that I focus on during the optimization process is user intent. By being able to see the search queries that have brought users to one particular page on a website, I am able to make sure that the user intent matches the content on the page. If the content on the page delivers exactly what the user is searching for, it’s a win-win for Google and the website owner (if that’s my website or my client’s website).

One way we can gauge user intent is by looking at the keywords that the page is being found for in Google, and which search queries the search is using to find the website. Let’s look at a very specific example.

In a post on my site, about stopping retargeting, I talk about how to stop retargeting. I think I am pretty clear about what the page is about, especially with the title tag and the page’s content.

But look at the #5 keyword listed in Google Search Analytics. It’s “retargeting for cleaning companies”. Well, that’s is quite the opposite of what my page is about. There are, apparently searches for that keyword phrase, so I might write another post about retargeting, and maybe use cleaning companies as an example. But why this particular page is ranking for that keyword phrase, completely the opposite user intent of what I want coming to my article about stopping retargeting, I am not quite sure. I don’t even mention the word “clean” or “cleaning” in that post. Unless, of course, “clear” is related? I do mention the word “clear” when talking about clearing your cookies.

If I can properly measure (and see) the user intent through keywords of people coming to my site, I can actually update my page so that it targets the right users. I can’t do much about retargeting for cleaning companies with that particular post, but I may use that keyword phrase for a content idea and a new post.

So, as you can see, the ability for us to see the keywords that are bring visitors, clicks, and especially the impressions that result in no clicks, I can ultimately provide a better search experience for Google’s users. Being unable to see keyword data, especially when it’s delayed a lot longer than usual, is concerning, and I just can’t do my job as well as I could when I don’t have updated keyword data.

Incidentally, the last time there was a reported issue with Search Analytics not updating was back in November 2015, and it was at least 6 days’ delayed.

Update:
After my tweet about the fact that it hasn’t been updated since May 3rd, John Mueller from Google responded, saying that he’ll look into it. He said that, “Sometimes these are just small quirks that take a few extra days to process.”

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