How Long Does Google Search Console Keep My Data?

Written by Ryan Jones. Updated on 14, February 2024

This article will answer one of the most commonly asked questions regarding data collection and Google Search Console. How long does Google Search Console keep your website data?

We'll cover exactly how long GSC keeps your data, what data GSC holds about your website, as well as what you can do with this data. We'll also cover whether this data limit is, in fact, a limitation and what the alternatives are for you to use for your website.

How Long Does Google Search Console Keep My Data?

Google Search Console holds relevant data for your website for 16 months. Once this time period has elapsed, this data about your website is lost.

Google Search Console interface showing website performance metrics over the last 16 months.

Above is a screenshot taken of SEOTesting's Google Search Console account. As you can see, GSC holds data about our website from the 8th of October, 2022, until today.

No matter what we do, Google Search Console does not hold data beyond this date. The only option for us is to store this data manually should we need this.

What Data Does Google Search Console Hold?

Regarding the data that Google Search Console holds about your website, it can be categorized into eleven different categories:

  • Performance Data: It shows how often your site appears in Google Search, the queries it appears for, the click-through rate (CTR), and the average positions of your pages in the search results. This data helps understand your site's visibility and performance in search.
  • Search Traffic: This includes the total clicks, impressions, CTR, and position of your website in search results. You can filter this data by query, page, country, device (mobile, desktop, tablet), and search appearance.
  • Index Coverage: GSC reports on the indexing status of your website's pages. It categorises pages as valid with warnings, errors, or excluded, providing details on why pages might not be indexed and suggestions for fixing indexing issues.
  • Sitemaps: You can submit sitemaps through GSC, which provides information on how many pages are submitted via sitemaps and how many were actually indexed.
  • Mobile Usability: This section reports issues that might affect your site's usability on mobile devices, such as clickable elements too close together or text too small to read, which are important for maintaining mobile-friendly sites.
  • AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages): If you use AMP, GSC provides reports on AMP pages, including errors and issues that might prevent them from being displayed in search results.
  • Security Issues: If Google detects security issues with your site, such as hacking or malware, it will notify you through GSC.
  • Manual Actions: If your site has been penalised for violating Google's webmaster guidelines, details of the manual action and recommendations for resolution will be provided.
  • Links: GSC provides data on the links to your website, including the total number of links, top linking sites, top linked pages within your site, and top linking text.
  • Core Web Vitals: These metrics provide insights into the user experience of your website, focusing on load times, interactivity, and visual stability of pages.
  • Page Experience: Combines Core Web Vitals with other factors like mobile usability and HTTPS security to give an overall page experience score.

If you want more information about the data that Google Search Console holds about your website, you can check out our full guide on this topic with our blog post on the data GSC holds on your website.

What Can You Do With This Data?

With sixteen months of Google Search Console data, there is a lot you can do.

You can use it to optimize your website. Given that Google Search Console holds information, including the clicks and impressions your website receives, the click-through rate your different pages have and other vital information, you can use this to decide where to take your SEO strategies to grow your site's traffic.

Another key role of GSC data is allowing you to find indexing issues with your pages. Whether your site has been impacted by various errors, including the "Crawled - currently not indexed" error or the "Discovered - currently not indexed" error, Google Search Console will help you find why your pages are not indexed and help you fix them.

If there are other issues your website is experiencing when trying to get pages indexed, we have a Google Search Console library, which will help. We have articles on all various GSC error codes, what they mean, and how to fix them.

GSC is also a great tool for helping you monitor and improve your website's usability. Using the Core Web Vitals and Page Experience reports, you can identify and fix loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability issues, improving the user experience and your site's rankings.

Is This a Limitation?

This isn't a limitation with Google Search Console in itself. However, due to the short period that GSC holds your website data, you may experience issues when comparing current data with past data, especially data from a date that is longer than 16 months!

You can work past this. However, your only alternative is to internally save data over 16 months in a database software. This will soon lead to databases that are hard to keep track of and filled with lots of raw data, which can be messy.

What's the Alternative?

It's possible that you need this data for longer than 16 months.

If this is the case, you can save this data to another platform like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, but if you do not have the time to do this yourself, SEOTesting has this data saved for you. We keep your website's GSC data for as long as you use the tool, allowing you to have an extensive timeline of your website's performance in Google. Here's an example from our website:

Graph displaying daily clicks on a from March 25, 2020, to February 6, 2024.

This is all of SEOTesting's click data that we have stored. It goes back to April of 2020. We also have this length of data for our websites:

  • Impressions
  • Average Position
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Ranking Buckets

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, while Google Search Console provides invaluable insights into your website's performance in search results for a 16-month period, its data retention limit could pose challenges for long-term analysis and historical comparison.

Fortunately, alternatives like SEOTesting offer a robust solution by storing GSC data indefinitely through the Google Search Console API, thus allowing for extended analysis, trend identification, and detailed SEO strategy development over time. By leveraging such tools, website owners and SEO professionals can overcome the limitations of GSC's data retention policy, ensuring they have access to comprehensive data for as long as needed to make informed decisions and continuously improve their website's search visibility and user experience. This, combined with SEOTesting's enhanced analytical capabilities, presents a powerful alternative for those looking to maximise their site's potential in Google's search results.

Want to make more of your Google Search Console data? Give SEOTesting a try. We export your website's GSC data and create valuable reports for you, designed to save you time while improving your site traffic. We currently have a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required.