Using Google Data Studio for SEO

Using Google Data Studio for SEO

May 3, 2017 8:01 pm

In “Using Server Logs to Uncover SEO Problems,” I defined that net server logs could be useful, however the knowledge is uncooked and requires transformation and evaluation. On this submit, I’ll clarify how you can analyze uncooked knowledge with enterprise intelligence visualization instruments.

I often carry out analyses in Tableau Software, a knowledge visualization platform. However Google launched a strong competitor final yr in Knowledge Studio, which is free and cloud-based mostly. Knowledge Studio can help with the evaluation of huge datasets by guessing the related metrics and dimensions of “visualization containers,” akin to pie charts. In Tableau, you must assign metrics, after which choose probably the most applicable visualization.

Visualization in Motion

Right here’s an instance of utilizing a complicated backlink evaluation to reply some difficult questions.

Again in 2013 I used to be referred to a shopper that had an uncommon request. Most shoppers need to understand how they will improve or get well their visitors from natural search. This shopper, nevertheless, was asking for assist determining why its search visitors was doing so properly.

The corporate launched a website that went — in lower than a yr — from zero to half one million visits per 30 days. The employees didn’t know why this was occurring. However they needed to know it, and concentrate on no matter was working so properly. At first, I assumed they have been utilizing black-hat web optimization techniques. However my evaluation proved the other.

The chart under is my evaluation on Tableau, to find out if hyperlinks to the location have been driving the huge improve in visitors. The Y axis, on the left, tracks “Visits,” “New Guests,” “Variety of Domains,” and “Variety of Hyperlinks.” The X-axis, on the underside, exhibits the month for every of these metrics.

In this example, a site went from zero to half a million visits in less than a year.

On this instance, a website went from zero to half one million visits in lower than a yr.

There’s a very robust correlation between “Variety of Hyperlinks” (on the prime) and “Visits.” After seeing the huge inflow of hyperlinks from many various websites, I used to be suspicious that the hyperlinks may need been bought. The corporate had lately launched an associates program and I questioned if Google seen, incorrectly, the affiliate hyperlinks as natural. Google ordinarily considers affiliate hyperlinks incentivized and doesn’t issue them right into a website’s rankings.

Once I analyzed the hyperlinks to their website — evaluating affiliate hyperlinks versus non-affiliate — it appeared that my suspicions have been right: fifty six.22 % have been from associates and forty three.seventy eight % from non-associates.

In reviewing overall links to the site, 56.22 percent were from affiliates and 43.78 percent from non-affiliates.

In reviewing general hyperlinks to the location, fifty six.22 % have been from associates and forty three.seventy eight % from non-associates.

Nevertheless, once I reviewed solely the % of distinctive websites, I noticed that ninety one.seventy five % have been from non-associates. Solely eight.25 % of linking domains have been from associates.

Only 8.25 percent of sites were using affiliate links.

Solely eight.25 % of web sites have been utilizing affiliate hyperlinks.

The associates program launched a few month or so earlier than I ran these reviews. So it made sense that the affiliate hyperlinks weren’t the rationale for the shopper’s progress.

One key aspect of visitors was a useful group that the shopper courted early on. The shopper’s goal market was comparatively slender in comparison with comparable corporations. The shopper employed full-time writers to supply detailed, useful tutorials that weren’t targeted on promoting, however, as an alternative, addressed related issues — totally free.

The shopper carried out this technique not as a result of it was on the lookout for natural search visitors. Somewhat, the shopper’s aim was to assist its goal group. Guests beloved the content material a lot that they informed others, and the natural progress engine kicked in.

Persevering with the evaluation, I reviewed the impression this group had when it comes to attracting hyperlinks to the location. I appeared on the proportion of complete hyperlinks to the location’s group pages, which contained the tutorials. Solely 2.34 % of complete hyperlinks have been directed at these pages.

Just 2.34 percent of total links were directed towards the site's community pages.

Simply 2.34 % of complete hyperlinks have been directed in the direction of the location’s group pages.

Nevertheless, forty eight.eleven % of distinctive websites linked to the group pages. Bingo! The group pages attracted virtually half of the hyperlinks from distinctive websites. This was due, presumably, to the top quality articles and tutorials, and to the shopper’s robust influencer outreach program.

At 48.108 percent, the number of unique sites linking to the site's community pages was high.

At forty eight.108 %, the variety of distinctive websites linking to the location’s group pages was excessive.

Thus, utilizing the info visualization instruments, we have been capable of assist the shopper perceive the reason for its natural search visitors.

Utilizing Google Knowledge Studio

Now, let’s reproduce one of these evaluation within the new Google Knowledge Studio device.

Within the instance of my shopper, we have been primarily conducting a backlink evaluation. We would have liked to get the absolute best hyperlink knowledge to reach at correct conclusions.

Whereas there are a selection of top of the range backlink reporting instruments, for this sort of evaluation I want to get the info immediately from Google Search Console. This manner, we will see the date Google found the hyperlinks and the way hyperlink methods progressed over time from Google’s perspective.

To view inbound hyperlinks in Search Console, go to Search Visitors > Hyperlinks to Your Website. Beneath “Who hyperlinks probably the most,” click on “Extra.”

To view inbound links in Search Console, go to <em>Search Traffic &gt; Links to Your Site.</em> Under "Who links the most," click "More."

To view inbound hyperlinks in Search Console, go to Search Visitors > Hyperlinks to Your Website. Beneath “Who hyperlinks probably the most,” click on “Extra.”

Then select “Obtain newest hyperlinks on the subsequent web page.

Click Download Latest Links.

Click on “Obtain newest hyperlinks.”

Then select the CSV file choice. You’ll obtain a file with two columns: “Hyperlinks” and “First Found.”

For this evaluation, I want the quantity distinctive linking domains. The CSV file doesn’t readily embrace that info, however I can create it as a brand new area in Google Knowledge Studio.

First we have to create a dataset by importing the CSV file utilizing the “File Add” choice in Knowledge Studio. This can place it into Google Cloud Storage. (As an apart, in case you add CSV information or uncooked knowledge to Knowledge Studio often, it’s useful to import the information instantly into Google BigQuery and use BigQuery as a knowledge supply. It’s particularly helpful when coping with giant datasets. This tutorial explains learn how to load CSV information to BigQuery.)

After we’ve uploaded the CSV file, we click on on “Create New Knowledge Supply” in Google Knowledge Studio and choose the “File Add” choice. It will immediate Google Knowledge Studio to entry Google Cloud Storage.

After uploading the CSV file, click on “Create New Data Source” in Google Data Studio and select the "File Upload" option.

After importing the CSV file, click on on “Create New Knowledge Supply” in Google Knowledge Studio and choose the “File Add” choice.

Then we will merely drag and drop the CSV file.

Select the "File Upload" option and upload the CSV file.

Choose the “File Add” choice and add the CSV file.

Clicking “Join” (proven above), we see the fields within the CSV file, together with their knowledge varieties.

Click "Connect" to see the detected fields.

Click on “Join” to see the detected fields.

Knowledge Studio supplies a canvas to design studies. To do that, return to the report, choose the road chart, after which drag to the canvas. Modify the dimensions as desired.

Recall that our aim is to calculate the quantity on distinctive linking domains. On this case, Knowledge Studio can’t plot a chart as a result of the CSV file accommodates no numerical fields — solely a textual content area and a date area.

Create a new metric to count the number of unique links.

Create a brand new metric to rely the variety of distinctive hyperlinks.

To repair this, we’ll create a metric to rely the variety of distinctive hyperlinks by clicking “Create Subject,” then naming the sector — we’ll use “links_count.” Within the formulation, I’ll enter COUNT_DISTINCT and choose “Hyperlinks.”

Click Create Field, then name the field links_count. In the formula, enter COUNT_DISTINCT and select "Links."

Click on “Create Subject,” then identify the sector links_count. Within the components, enter COUNT_DISTINCT and choose “Hyperlinks.”

After we create the brand new metric and choose “links_count” because the metric to plot, Knowledge Studio produces a graph of the expansion of hyperlinks over time to the location.

A plot of the growth of links over time to a site.

A plot of the expansion of hyperlinks over time to a website.

Now we have now a useful Knowledge Studio report displaying insights past what seems in Google Search Console, although the info originated from there. We will use this report typically when reviewing profiles for dangerous hyperlinks. It makes it straightforward to identify sudden jumps within the variety of hyperlinks.

Subsequent, let’s plot the variety of distinctive domains as an alternative of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks from distinctive domains are usually much more useful than hyperlinks coming from the identical area. The plot will probably be comparable, however as an alternative of counting particular person hyperlinks, it can rely distinctive linking websites.

Since we don’t have a area for the area of the hyperlinks, we’ll create a brand new area that may use a daily expression to extract the area identify. I launched the idea of normal expressions within the aforementioned server logs article.

To me, seeing the visible illustration of the values from common expressions is useful as I check, to make sure it’s right. The only approach I discovered to try this in Google Knowledge Studio is so as to add a desk visualization with the calculated subject as a column.

To do that, first create a brand new dimension that may calculate the area out of the hyperlinks. Click on on “Dimension picker” and select “Create New Dimension.”

Right here is the common expression I used to create the area area.

REGEXP_EXTRACT(Hyperlinks, '^https?://([^/]+)/[^ ]+/?')
Create a new dimension and enter the regular expression.

Create a brand new dimension and enter the common expression.

The desk xtracts the area appropriately. Subsequent, we need to create a brand new metric to calculate the area counts for our graph. We’ll once more use COUNT_DISTINCT within the method, however this time, we’ll choose “area” to get a rely of the distinct domains.

Select COUNT_DISTINCT in the formula and then select domain to get a count of the distinct domains.

Choose COUNT_DISTINCT within the components after which choose “area” to get a rely of the distinct domains.

Now that we’ve area counts, we will create the graph, and add it to the report.

Add the distinct domains plot to your plot created earlier.

Add the distinct domains plot to the plot created earlier.

Now we will see the hyperlink progress by wanting on the variety of distinctive websites linking to us over time.

One of the best half is which you could reuse the identical report to research different websites or to maintain monitor of your hyperlink progress. You’ll simply want to vary or replace the info supply. As I discussed earlier than, a CSV is useful to get began with Knowledge Studio. However for ongoing use, it’s higher to make use of BigQuery or one other database as the info supply. It’ll present far more flexibility.

Which Pages Appeal to the Most Hyperlinks?

To supply the stories to study which sections of your website appeal to probably the most hyperlinks, you could have two choices.

The primary one is the only: simply obtain from Search Console the listing of linked pages.

Download the top list of linked pages.

Obtain the highest record of linked pages in Search Console.

You will notice three columns: “Your pages,” “Hyperlinks,” and “Supply domains.” Say you need to rely the domains linking to your weblog versus the remainder of the location. To do that, create a brand new dimension utilizing a daily expression that may search for the outlined time period — comparable to “weblog.” You should use an analogous technique to group your pages in any means that helps.

Create a new dimension using a regular expression that will look for the word “blog.”

Create a brand new dimension utilizing a daily expression that may search for the phrase “weblog.”

Within the case of my firm, RankSense, ninety % of hyperlinks to our website are to our weblog.

The second technique includes crawling the record of backlinks to the location utilizing a software corresponding to ScreamingFrog. One benefit of this strategy is which you can examine which backlinks are nofollowed — Google doesn’t contemplate them for rating functions. I’ll depart the evaluation of this as an train so that you can full and to get arms-on expertise in Google Knowledge Studio.

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