Google is tying its Analytics and Webmaster Tools applications more closely together in an effort to give web publishers a joint view of internal site traffic and search engine optimisation (SEO) data. Web publishers can apply to participate in a test run of the linked tools.

This initial integration attempt will surface some Webmaster Tools data in the Analytics interface, such as the number of Google search queries and the query terms that returned pages from the publisher's site, as well as the number of times and the rate at which users clicked to the site from Google results.

Many webmasters have had to keep Google Analytics open in one browser window and Webmaster Tools open in another said Kevin Lee, CEO of Didit, a search engine marketing firm. "It's great to see that Google will merge data across the platforms with an integration," he said.

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In addition, web publishers will be able to slice-and-dice the SEO data and create graphs using Analytics tools. "For example, you can filter for queries that had more than 100 clicks and see a chart for how much each of those queries contributed to your overall clicks from top queries," wrote Christina Chen and Torrey Hoffman from Google's Webmaster Tools group.

While Webmaster Tools data focuses on how a site's pages perform in Google search results, Analytics tracks users' activities within the site. Having a combined view of both sets of data has been a popular request.

"We've heard from many of you that an integration between Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics is at the top of your wishlists," wrote Trevor Claiborne, from the Google Analytics group.

Didit's Lee said that meshing the data from the two applications will make life easier for webmasters. "Combining the data will give webmasters even more insight into what happened and what to change to have more positive outcomes and less negative ones," he said.