Back in July 2015 I wrote about why I thought Google’s Search Analytics tool was almost awesome. The reasons behind the “almost” were as follows:
- No Starred Queries feature
- Limited filter options
- 90 day data limit
The last point in particular is a frustration that is seemingly shared by many, and an exchange on Twitter earlier this week between Zineb Ait Bahajji, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, and an SEO bod named Jonathan did very little to quell those frustrations:
@Jonny_J_ we are thinking about it, but no big update right now.
— Zineb Ait (@Missiz_Z) February 16, 2016
You may remember that way back in September 2013 Google said it would be providing users with a year’s worth Search Analytics data, and hinted to it again in early 2015 via a Google+ hangout hosted by John Mueller of Google Switzerland. Yet, despite having access to more historic data being one of the top requests amongst Search Console users, the 90 day limit remains.
So it was interesting to see yesterday, Zineb asking the following question:
Hey GSC users, if you had more than 90 days of data in Search Analytics, how would you use that? please use #moredataSAN in your replies.
— Zineb Ait (@Missiz_Z) February 17, 2016
I’d say the answer to this is pretty obvious; because it just makes life easier. I should mention here that there is nothing stopping you from periodically exporting data from Search Console and analysing it outside of the tool itself, but the extra effort involved in that just feels unnecessary if the data is, essentially, already there.
Here are some of the more sensible replies to Zineb’s question:
Year on year impression comparisons would make it easier to analyse seasonality trends vs industry events. #moredataSAN
— Shap Cooper (@Shap_Digital) February 18, 2016
Having YoY data helps us anticipate seasonal trends. Not only that, it helps us paint a bigger picture on overall performance. #moredataSAN
— Roger Sikes (@rogersikes) February 18, 2016
@missiz_z #moredataSAN More data enables better decisions in most cases. Search trends, user behaviour/intent, seasonality, etc.
— Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) February 17, 2016
Only time will tell whether Google will finally succumb to user demand and expand the 90 day data limit, but until then you are invited to share your thoughts via Twitter along with the hashtag #moredataSAN. Go on, you know you want to.