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I was told that Google tracks how many times a user clicks on links in a given site and how deeply they go. How can Google technically do that?

Clarification: I am a web-developer and my colleague who speclializes in Seo claims that Google somehow can tell if users navigate from a main page to other pages or not. Not that the pages exist and are accessible, but that they are actually navigated to. And not simply from Google to page but from Google to page and then to another page and so forth. And not merly for dev's analitics but for ranking.

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  • Seeing what users do and analyzing your site's link graph are two very different things. You can get click depth from a static analysis of your site structure without ever observing somebody use the site. Jul 25, 2019 at 10:35
  • Google should only know about clicks on a website, after the one that got you to he website from the google earch results, if the given website uses google analytics?
    – Pit
    Jul 25, 2019 at 10:50

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They do it through analytics tools. Basically, these scripts offer some attributes, that are inserted in the HTML code. Then the script code detects user events like "click", "hovering over an image", "searching for something in the search tool" etc.

Each time one of these events takes place ("fires"), the script detects it and updates an analytics object (object in the scope of programming objects, like a javascript object) with the information.

When the user concludes a predefined scenario (for example when they complete an order) this object is sent back to the creator of the script (like Google) who extracts this information and presents it to the site owner.

So basically, extra code is detecting user behavior through injected HTML data attributes, gathers the user's actions into an "information-package" and sends it back for analysis.

When it comes to click depth, this is easily analyzed by external tools, as @stephen-ostermiller mentioned.

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