Google Will Scrap Webmaster Tool’s “Search Queries” Report in Favor of its New “Search Analytics” Report
Webmasters and marketers need to develop a deep understanding of how users find their sites, as well as how often their content appears on Google’s search results. Additionally, with more and more digital consumers accessing content across different platforms and devices, webmasters and marketers alike need more accurate data to address the needs of cross-platform audiences.
Following months of testing, Google recently launched its new Search Analytics report. The new report shows webmasters how often their sites appear in Google’s search results, and filters and groups data using categories such as search query, date, and device. Prior to the release of the Search Analytics report, such data could be found in the Search Queries report, “pr obably the most used feature in Webmaster Tools,” states the official announcement on the Webmaster Central Blog.
The data found in the Search Analytics report can be used to improve website search performance, enabling anyone who manages a website to see how search traffic changes over time; where search traffic is coming from; and what search queries are most likely to display their sites.
Quite conveniently, following Google’s mobile-friendly (or “Google Mice”) update, the Search Analytics report shows webmasters and marketers which queries were made on smartphones, thus giving them access to data that will help them improve their mobile targeting and optimize for mobile traffic.
Just as importantly, the new report shows which pages have the highest and lowest click-through rates from Google search results. (More information on the new feature can be found in the Search Analytics Help Center article.)
Break Down and Filter Your Site’s Search Data for More Precise Analysis
“The new Search Analytics report enables you to break down your site’s search data and filter it in many different ways in order to analyze it more precisely,’ states the official announcement. As shown in Figure 1, the report can be used to compare mobile traffic before and after the Google Mice update (which was rolled out on April 21).
Those who manage international websites can now use the report to identify the countries where people searched the most for their brands. All they need to do is choose “impressions” as their metric, filter by brand name, and group results by country to display a sorted list of impressions by country. [See Figure 2]
The default view of the report displays the website’s click count coming from Google search results for the past four weeks. The displayed metrics can be changed by selecting one or more metric checkboxes (“clicks,” “impressions,” “CTR,” and “position”). The Search Analytics Help Center article also contains information on how to change how data are grouped, how to filter data, and how to compare different group values.
“Data in the Search Analytics report is much more accurate than data in the older Search Queries report, and it is calculated differently,” stated the announcement.
Following the official rollout of the Search Analytics report, the old Search Queries report will still be available in Google Webmaster Tools for three more months, which means that the old report will be available until August 2015.
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