Search Console vs. Keyword Provider: What’s the Difference?

Keyword Provider gets you SEO ranking and keyword data in Google Analytics tied to ALL Google Analytics reports, not just imported Search Console reports.

What is Keyword Provider?

Keyword Provider is a tool which provides Google Analytics with your website users’ Google organic search keyword phrases, together with ranking position.

Ever since October 2011, Google searches have been encrypted over a secure internet connection.

The effect has been that Google search queries cannot be obtained on the destination website. Google Analytics group these unknown search queries as “not provided”.

Your usual approach to understanding searchers behavior finding your site is third-party SEO ranking tools such as SEMrush, SearchMetrics, SimilarWeb, etc in combination with Google Analytics+Google Search Console.

To combine the data, you have to export from each tool to Excel or Google Sheets, use VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH to map everything together.

It takes a lot of time.

With Keyword Provider, the Search Console data is mapped into Google Analytics’ google/organic keywords automatically.

It saves a lot of time.

(Also each tool has a different selection of keywords and different means of estimating search volume, so you should beware when comparing their data.)

What is Google Search Console?

“Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results.” (1)

You use Search Console to understand which pages Google have indexed and how Google crawls your website.

The most used feature for marketers and SEOs is the Search Analytics Report, which:

“The Search Analytics report shows how often your site appears in Google search results. Filter and group data by categories such as search query, date, or device. Use the results to improve your site’s search performance.” (2)

What does Keyword Provider do?

Keyword Provider replaces “not provided” with organic keyword and ranking position data.

You get an estimate of your organic search traffic down to the keyword level in combination with its keyword ranking position in the search result.

And it is tied to everything else happening in the session: goals, conversions, transactions!

Because the SEO keyword and ranking data is inserted in your standard Google Analytics account, you don’t really need any other tools.

It will save you a lot of time and you can make quick decisions based on Google Analytics alone.

Note: Combination of your data with other tools for deeper understanding and analysis is recommended.

How does Keyword Provider work?

By extracting Google Search Console data over its API, Keyword Provider gain access to your organic search queries, and Google rankings. This make most sense as retrieving data via other sources most often comprise of estimated or rounded data (1) or extrapolated via test panels; ex. SEMrush (2,3), SearchMetrics (4) etc.

Algorithms associate each organic Google session by estimating the search query based on probability distribution and learning. The search query together with Google ranking position is then inserted into your Google Analytics.

You can’t know for certain it was one exact keyword that gave one specific conversion.
In aggregate though, for reporting, monitoring and quick analysis – it is better than anything else – because it is tied with the session and all other behavior in Google Analytics.

Doesn’t Google Search Console provide this data?

Search Analytics data in the Search Console user interface is limited to 1,000 search queries over the last 90 days and has no support for combination with dimensions and metrics inside Google Analytics. (1, 2)

What about integrating Search Console with Google Analytics?

The “integration” with Google Search Console only works in the specific Search Console reports. (1)

The analysis techniques used for Search Console in Google Analytics does not allow for segmentation, secondary dimensions or channel grouping with any other Google Analytics reports. (2)

Why Keyword Provider? What’s the difference?

  • There are no limitations in combining data from Keyword with any other dimensions or metrics in Google Analytics.
  • Segment on organic ranking position and keyword in Google Analytics.
  • You will be able to monitor search queries and rankings for all host names (sub domains).
  • No 90-day limit on the data. Once you have Keyword Provider installed the data sits in your Google Analytics account forever.
  • Track more than 1000 search queries which is the limit in Google Search Console.
  • Share reports within your company. Everybody uses Google Analytics.
  • Faster analysis. No need to extract and combine data from multiple tools such as third party SEO tools and Google Analytics.
  • Data provided in real time.
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Björn Michels