Google Services Lack Convergence

Posted by bkloss | Google Analytics | Wednesday 2 April 2008 5:28 am

Dear keyword reports from Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools… why can’t you speak with one voice?

As practitioners in the web analytics field, we search for convergence among sources of data. When only one perspective or tool suggests insight into our users behavior we should be hesitant to jump to conclusions. As a best practice, we search for patterns among two or more sources, to increase confidence for a specific observation. Unfortunately different reporting mechanisms will often contradict each other, even in the case of the analytics superstar Google.

Here is an example that was recently brought to my attention. I lean heavily on Google Analytics to see what keywords bring traffic to the Iteration Station. Google webmaster Tools also offers a “Google only” referral report. When Google recently rolled out a data sharing component I hoped that the Google cloud would tighten up and I would see convergence among my reports. (more…)