Google Search Console API Tips & Tricks

Updated: Mar 3

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Google Search Console is an SEOs best friend and without it, our job would be made 10x more difficult.

Even though I use some excellent paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Screaming Frog,, Keyword Cupid and many more, I would easily give them all up in order to keep Google Search Console.

But that doesn’t mean that GSC doesn’t have its limitations. Some of them have fixed or added new features (like adding regex in 2021).

But let's take a look at its major limitations that I want to focus on for this article:

  1. The UI is slow

  2. Exports only support up to 1000 rows of data

  3. No API support for backlink reports

#3 We don't really have an alternative or a solution at the moment. But the reason I brought it up is that there is a GSC API for the performance report. And it is by far one of the best-hidden gems and the key to success for any SEO working on any website of any size.

The Google Search Console API solves limitations #1 and #2 with one simple action. But how?

By pulling data using the GSC API you can access far more than only 1000 rows of data, you can access the FULL data set. Non-SEOs or SEOs that only work on smaller sites might not fully understand how valuable this is. 1000 rows of data might seem like a lot, right? But it is not.

So how can we do it?

There are a number of paid tools like SuperMetrics that allow you to integrate the GSC API. And using some fairly simple Python Scripts you can also pull from the API.

But let’s break this down to the two simplest methods.

  1. Google Data Studio

  2. Search Analytics for Sheets

Google Data Studio

Using a simple custom dashboard in Google Data Studio you can pull Landing Page and Query metrics into the same report.

This is extremely useful for reasons we will get into shortly.

Search Analytics for Sheets

The second option is Search Analytics for Sheets which does the same thing but directly into Google Sheets. (but with large data sets Google Sheets is even slower than Search Console)

Pulling data using the GSC API

Watch this short video of how to easily set up the pull data from GSC using the API:

Insights from the GSC API

But the more important question is what can you do with this data?

Pivot Tables

If you don't know how to make and manipulate pivot tables, it is helpful to learn the basics.

Working with large data sets, especially landing pages and queries is 100x easier in pivot tables. And you can get a better perspective to see overall patterns (patterns are the key to SEO)

But also you can use them for Ahrefs and SEMrush backlink exports, competitor research and so much more.

But that's for another article.

Image of pivot table and formula used

By creating a pivot table out of the data you exported using the GSC API you can:

  1. Find underperforming pages

  2. Optimize Meta Titles and H1 Tags

  3. New landing page ideas

  4. New blog content ideas

  5. Easily check for competing pages

  6. Anchor text ideas for links

1. Find underperforming pages

Organize the pages by impressions, then expand the tale to see what queries are not getting clicks but high impressions

2. Optimize Meta Titles and H1 Tags

Use the data from above to update the meta title and h1 tags on the page

3. New landing page ideas

Find queries in the landing page that don't get clicks and are separate topics, You will notice Google always tries to return your site for searches because of related topics, but not related enough to be on the same page.

This was on pages trying to target a few angles of the same topic.

After separating into 5 separate pages, traffic increased for each one!

4. New blog content ideas

You can find long-tail queries appearing on pages that are getting no clicks. The longer the better, If it has decent impressions, make a blog out of it and do exact match anchor text link from that page to the new blog

5. Easily check for competing pages

Reorganize the pivot tables by queries first and the pivot table. Add the number of pages as a new metric. And you can see how many pages are being returned for each query, If it's a lot, especially if it's not branded (which hints it is sitelinks) then figure out why those pages are competing.

6. Anchor text ideas for links

Underperforming search for pages, with high impressions, is a great source for varied anchor text for internal links and backlinks to that page.

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