Does using Google Analytics affect your ranking in google search results?

Here’s some arguments I could come up with:

  1. Google Analytics will make your site load more slowly. But sites that load faster get a higher ranking.
    Ergo, using Google analytics should have a negative impact.
  2. Google Analytics gives Google a (better) way to measure how much time visitors spend on your site.
    If visitors stay long they found what they were looking for. This means your site is relevant. Which should have a positive impact on your ranking.
    On the other hand if visitors spend little time, your site is irrelevant and he impact should be negative.

What do you think?

Or they couldn’t find what they wanted and wasted lots of time searching for it.

If only.

My experience of the average surfer is that they will spend an average of about 10 seconds looking round a website, and if they can’t find what they want in that time then they either go elsewhere or they go straight to ‘contact us’. :rolleyes:

If you look around on the web and in SEO based forums, I think you’ll find an on-going debate about the pros and cons of using GA and Webmaster Tools on a site.

You’ll also find tons of opinions on the topic with little fact to back it up. While I’m not a conspiracy person, I’m not a huge fan of letting Google into my sites. However, if you think about the big picture, chances are they have the ability to harvest any of the data analytics provides if they really wanted.

IMHO, the decision to include GA and Webmaster Tools is based on personal preferences and the type of sites you are building. If you are going after short term sites (blackhat, spamming, cookie stuffing, etc.) then I’d definitely skip it as they will probably find you soon enough anyway.

However, if you building long term sites based on whitehat methods, then the data provided by those apps can be helpful. Can you get the same data through other services like Piwik? Sure.

Although Google does seem to include site load time as one of several factors that go into an overall ranking formula, I doubt they would penalize you for using one of their products even if it did slow your site a bit. I own a fair number of domains and have GA installed on about half with other analytics programs on the other half. As far as I can tell, I’ve never seen one of my sites penalized for page load times with GA as compared to the other analytics programs I use. Of course, as Google doesn’t really specifically share why a site is penalized or exactly ranked, it’s also hard to tell if a penalty ever occurred based on page load times.

That’s my .02 on the topics. YMMV.

Google probably get more useful stats on how many people visit your site from how many there are who click on the links in the search results rather than from Analytics.

After all the analytic stats exclude everyone with JavaScript turned off or who has blocked analytics so as to save on bandwidth and speed up loading of pages whereas the stats based on their search results only exclude those people who don’t use the Google search.

  1. Page load time is a VERY minor ranking factor compared to many of the other factors. Cutts has said that Google adding page load time as a ranking factor affects “maybe” 1 in 1000 web sites, and only those that are EXTREMELY slow. The average site would not be negatively affected by the small increase in page load time caused by Google’s JavaScript.

  2. Google has so many ways of tracking things like time on site, bounce rates, etc. that having Google Analytics as one more isn’t really going to make a difference even if they DO use user behavior (CTR, bounce rate, time on site, etc.) as ranking factors. So many people have Google Toolbar which can tell them EVERYTHING you’re doing in your browser. If you’re searching Google.com they can track CTR, bounce rate, and few other things.

Google isn’t stupid, they know that they get a better understanding of your site if you have analytics on it. That is why you should never put analytics on a affiliate site or anything that is meant for the sole purpose of making money.

True.

Besides, I don’t think what stats you use for your website matters to a Search engine or your website rankings.

I really doubt it makes a difference.

Great input. Thanks!

Let me try to come to some conclusions:

  • The increase in page loading time has an (negligibly) small effect.
  • Google also already gains, perhaps a little less detailed, information about what people are doing on your site from users that use Google Toolbar.
  • Not using Google Analytics might make your site look suspicious.

I’m still opposed to the waste of resources, but perhaps I should start using Google Analytics.

Why? Not everyone knows about GA. Of the people who do know about GA, not everyone feels they need to use it.

The increase in page load time might not affect the SEO of the site, but it certainly affects the user experience. Several times I have been on the verge of blocking Google Analytics on my computer because of the lag it introduces sometimes. When people go to a web page that is slow and hangs part-way through loading, that gives them a bad impression of a site, and they probably won’t know or care that it is GA rather than your actual site that is causing the delay.

And I have no idea what you mean by that last point. Yes, GA is widely used, but it is by no means universal. You might as well say that not having a Twitter feed or a link to a Facebook page looks suspicious. There are many reasons why site owners might not want GA on their site, and I don’t believe for a second that Google would dare to penalise sites for not using GA.

What software is compatible to Google Analytics? Are there any with more functions or faster?

Hi,
According to me,Google Analytics definitely help you to rank well in the search engine.But How?
It helps you to track the bounce rate of the pages in your website…The bounce rate may be because the content they were looking for didn’t have enough information they were searching.
It gives u a notion of what people are searching and accorduingly u can uodate your site with relevant information that may help you to give a good position in the search engine further decreasing the bounce rate ratio.
Thanks

Do you really think the bounce rate has a big influence? If people are finding what they were looking for on the landing page and don’t have to click through other sub-domains, the bounce rate would be 100%. I guess it might be counter-productive if google would penalize on a high bounce rate.

no,google’s product will not hurt your site

I don’t think applying GA to your site affect any aspect of it, and the load time increase is negligible. On the contrary it give you a rather good understanding of PPC program used to market your site.
I only use GA to justify my adsense expenses nothing more nothing less

Hello,

No the Google analytic’s will not affect your website but it is very reliable and helpful to track records of visitors of your website and even you can easily know the details of your visitors through it. There are so many other product as compare to Google analytic’s , you can also try statcounter.com it is similar to Google analytic’s.