Comparing Google Trends for Websites and Google Analytics data
Although in a moment or another any SEO consultant has checked the traffic trends for a (big enough) site, the competitors of the web you are optimising for sure, nobody trust 100% what shown at Google Trends for Websites obviously.
At Trends for Websites Help page there is information explaining how these graphs are generated and why data is not accurate but as usually at Google's universe tons of words for nothing significant.
The only way I can think to get some conclusions is compare Trends for Websites versus Google Analytics data.
How to compare stats
Look into your Analytics account for sites with traffic enough to have a whole year stats, last 12 months option, at Trends for Websites. Sometimes graphs are weird or incomplete, don't ask.
If you are logged in your Google's account stats will show Daily Unique Visitors number at Y axis.
Drag and drop graph to your computer.
Check if these sites have the same period of data at Analytics. You won't believe how many sites for big well known worldwide brands have not paid real attention to web analytics or had no stats system installed at all, specially if they are not online pure players.
At Analytics go to Visitors > Visitors trending > Absolute unique visitors, dates from 01-april-2008 to 01-april-09 or the period matching Trends, select week view and grab screen shot.
That's it. Now a bit of image work to place both side by side for an easy comparing.
The hard thing here is having enough sites with these characteristics to compare, not to betray the first principle of statistics. I have a few but I wanted to get very different business models sites from different countries to make it a bit more interesting so I asked my colleagues Ramón Eijkemans, SEO copyrighting expert, Martijn Beijk, local search wizard and Juan Cruz, online marketing consultant, for some more and here they are.
Wesite stats and graphs compared
Trends versus Analytics. Conclusions
No need to be Einstein to notice what happens.
- Analytics graphs lines are softer than trends ones, more exaggerated in vertical axis. like electrified.
- In many cases last quarter, more recent period, although at Analytics stats are nor clearly going down they do at Trends, something that web analytics expert Adrián Segovia noticed lately. Maybe, just an idea, as times go bye they become more accurate, who knows.
- Daily Unique Visitors volume deserves some trustworthy but not in closer periods as mentioned before and of course not always.
- Trends for Websites seems to have a reasonable amount of credibility once you can set a minimum error threshold after comparing some of them.
Now we should compare other similar services like Alexa Traffic Stats but I wanted to start with tools of the same brand (yes, it was easy).
What do you think? Do you want to share here your graphs?