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Level Up Google Search Console’s(GSC) Performance Report with Google Data Studio(GDS)

GSC is one of the go to tools in any SEO’s arsenal. However, it is not without its shortcomings. This post will discuss the limitations of the performance report feature in GSC and how to overcome them using GDS. These limitations include:

  1. The number of rows you can view and download. 
  2. The reporting view; you need to open multiple tabs to visualize and match queries and landing pages.

With Google Data Studio, you can do more than just get rid of these limitations:

View and export unlimited number of rows

GSC only lets you see and download data for a maximum of 1000 rows. For large, and even medium websites, the number of rows with useful data easily exceeds this number.

One way around is Search Analytics for Sheets. The Google Sheets add-on lets you extract all data that resides in the Search Console API.

The second way is Google Data Studio. To extract all rows, create a new report in GDS and choose GSC as the data source.

Next choose the dimension with respect to which you want to see the varying metrics. Then choose the metrics you want to measure – these could be clicks, impressions, CTR, position, or queries too. 

Exporting unlimited rows in Google Data Studio

View all the metrics in one report

In GSC, you cannot see both queries and landing pages in the same report. 

GDS lets you see queries against landing pages in one report. You can achieve this via Search Analytics for Sheets too, but GDS is prettier.

Set custom filters to exclude unwanted/irrelevant values 

In heaps of rows, it’s quite likely there are some values you don’t want to see in your report. 

With the help of a filter, you can specify what pattern of values you want to exclude or include in your report. There can be several scenarios where filters can come to your rescue. Here are a few examples:

Use case 1: Exclude queries with few impressions

Set up an exclude filter to exclude queries with a few impressions. This would rid your report of many queries which were mistyped, irrelevant or have a very low search volume.

Use case 2: Include only long tail keywords

GDS filters allow the convenience of using Regex, IF condition, and CASE statements to refine your data.

Using Regex, you can exclude queries with less than 5 words. Use this Regex for it: ^([a-zA-Z0-9]*\s){5,}.

Using regex to filter queries in Data Studio

Use case 3: Set multiple filters for one metric

GSC doesn’t let you exclude two or more different queries. You can only set one filter per metric. GDS is your savior again. Use the AND and OR operators in filters to get rid of all the values you don’t want to see.

Replicate GSC’s Filter Control

GSC filters let you filter landing pages and queries. You can give the same control in report view with GDS’ filter control feature.

Filter controls in data studio

Final Words

Google Data Studio Report can replicate GSC almost completely and be even more insightful. To replace GSC with its GDS replica completely, you may need one additional step. To see both “landing pages” and “position” in one report, you’d need to blend data from both site impressions and URL impressions.

GDS’ ability to access search console data from its API is fantastic and gives you great insights into your website’s search performance. With the power of Regex, IF, and CASE statements you can use GDS to make your filters and calculated fields more efficient and concise.

I'm a part of CueBlock's SEO team. I like traveling, reading, and experimenting with new ways in SEO to get the best results.

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