According to Google's Webmaster Central blog, site owners now have the ability to link verified sites using Webmaster Tools to an Analytics profile used by the same Google account. According to the post, this will enable your Analytics profiles to be accessible from within Webmaster Tools. For the really anxious, the how-to instructions for linking are included below.
At this point, the benefits include some slight conveniences. For one, you will now be able to access your Referring Sites report in Google Analytics directly from Webmaster tools. Secondly, Google is making it easier to access Analytics with one click of the navigation link on Webmaster Tools. Previously, for security, Google has always required site owners to sign back in when moving between Webmaster Tools and Analytics.
While the changes are subtle, they add a layer of convenience for site owners who rely on Google's tools to determine what their visitors are doing. Also, given the similarity of some of the Webmaster Tools reports to Analytics, be on the lookout for cross-product linking in the future.
While some reports in Webmaster Tools appear similar to what the Analytics products offer, remember the big difference between the two products. Webmaster Tools was designed to help site owners determine detailed information about their site's visbility on Google. Google Analytics is a tool used to determine how all visitors interact with a site. While there is some overlap, remember that the Googlebot which crawls your site is merely one unique visitor. Data will sometimes vary between the reports depending on the rate at which Google crawls your site.
How Do I Link Google Webmaster Tools and Analytics?
It's a simple two-step process.
- When you first sign into Webmaster Tools, click Manage in the same row as the site you want to link. (If you only have one site, this is pretty easy).
- Click Google Analytics profile from the list that appears.
- Select the Google Analytics profile you want to link and click Save
It is important to note that this can only be done with sites that have verified to Google. Also, if your site has more than one contact - or verified owner - each owner will need to link their individual Webmaster Tools accounts to their individual Google Analytics profiles.