Stats vs. Site Search Analytics Reports

You can use both Custom Search and Google Analytics to get data for your search engine. However, the data in Custom Search may not match that in Google Analytics (see below). We recommend that you use the Stats page in Google Custom Search to get an accurate total number of searches conducted using your search engine. Use Google Analytics data to understand user behavior and track search quality.

There are two ways to get detailed usage information about your search engine.

  • The Stats tab of the Statistics and Logs page shows you popular queries for your Custom Search Engine. You can view this info by day, week, month, or year—even the entire lifetime of your search engine. The Stats page provides accurate data about the search usage and the total number of searches completed.

    To display popular queries on your site (for example, to help searchers find popular pages), copy the code in the Popular web queries page and paste it into your pages.

  • The Site Search reports in Google Analytics provide data and metrics on how people use search on your site. If you already have a Google Analytics account (using the same Google Account you use for your search engine), we recommend that you configure these reports directly from the Custom Search control panel. The Site Search reports provide the following data:
    • Search usage: What did users search for on your site? Did they refine their searches? Where did they go after searching?
    • Trending terms: What are people searching for?
    • Pages: Which pages on your site have the most search usage?

Why doesn't Statistics data match the Site Search data in Analytics?

The Statistics data in Google Custom Search may differ from the data displayed in other tools, such as Google Analytics. Possible reasons for this include:

  • Google Custom Search / Google Site Search returns 20 results at a time. When a user does a search for [pizza], and then clicks on the second page of results (for example, to see results 21-40), Google Custom Search considers that click to be a second search for the term [pizza]. Google Analytics considers only unique searches per visit, and would count both as a single search. Similarly, if a user searched for [pizza] twice during a visit, Google Custom Search will count those as separate search.

  • Google Analytics tracks traffic only from users who have enabled JavaScript in their browser.

  • Google Analytics tracks visits only to pages which include the correctly configured Analytics Javascript code. If pages on the site don't have the code, Analytics won't track visits to those pages. Searches from pages that don't contain the Analytics code will still be tracked in CSE Statistics. The Custom Search Statistics page also tracks searches made from the search engine’s home page, while Google Analytics does not.

  • Once you add the Google Analytics tracking code to your site, Analytics will track usage from the time the code was added. The Statistics page in Google Custom Search shows the total number of searches since the search engine was created.

  • Google Analytics doesn’t track any searches that come from automated scripts you may be running on your site.