Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Updates To Start 2014

As one door closes another opens, or something like that. Google, it seems, isn’t all about withholding data as most speculated after the full-force shutdown of free range organic keywords, aka the evil [not provided]. How can I, an organic search marketer say such a thing? Well, in their overarching generosity, Google announced today that they were introducing deeper keyword data points in Google Webmaster Tools, retroactive to December 31, 2013. Mobile Changes and Updates The Google Webmaster Tools (GWMTs)  update centers around mobile, as the change was implemented to support Google’s focus on moving webmasters to maximize users’ online experience through quality mobile websites. In two announcement posts on the official Google blog by Maile Ohye, the Developer Programs Tech Lead, first shares a simple guide for making mobile-friendly sites search friendly through the incorporation of canonicals, defined user agents headers (HTTP Vary: User-Agent), and verifying ownership of mobile sites in GWMT to receive valuable feedback. For many, the mobile element may be a moot point because of the growth and support of responsive website design. With responsive websites, the browser and/or width of the viewable area, say a tablet browser, determines the stylesheet used for the website; changing the look and feel of the website without changing to a mobile sub-domain or folder. Google Webmaster Tools Keyword Details and More In the second post, John Mueller of Google Switzerland shares the big news, finer details are now available in webmaster tools! With the loss of keyword data in Google Analytics, many wondered what was next for organic. Many moved to using page analytics with GWMT to isolate keywords that fall into [not provided]. This finer detail change allows for a simpler, more impactful examination of page information surrounding clickthroughs from search, search queries, and exact numbers related to organic traffic. An alert is displayed concerning the update in GWMT:   Although the post states the updates are retroactive to 12/31/2013, all history available in your updated GWMT shows exact numbers (exact numbers according to GWMT, of course). Some in the marketing industry and other webmasters are reserving excitement to see how accurate these number actually are. @randfish skepsis seems well-founded: at first glance devations between GWMT data and GA data is around 45% for our client sites. — Barry Adams (@badams) January 7, 2014 But, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers, right?! The Wrapper Enjoy it! Even if the data isn’t as exact as some believe it may be inaccurate, it is a starting point for strategy. The data from GWMT is and has always been focused on helping webmasters maximize their website’s visibility. This change is a move in a good direction. I would rather data that is slightly off than the rounded to the nearest thousand that was the standard...

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Google Webmaster Change: Data for 360 versus 90 Days

Push hard enough and even Google will move. Or so I’d like to think. I say that thanks to an article featured in Search Engine Land. SEL covered a situation in which many publishers and webmasters have been at arms with Google over the [not provided] situation. Marketing Land coined the initiation of [not provided] as “Dark Google.” If you are unfamiliar with [not provided], where have you been?! Two years ago Google started withholding data from webmasters related to secure searches. This hidden data on average makes up 30-50% of web traffic for sites we have access to. This means a big chunk of data is not shared with us. There are ways to make correlations between what is reported in Google Webmaster Tools against the [not provided] segment of Google Analytics, but the crux was always that Google Adwords users were privy to more data. Essentially, Google was saying, ‘we don’t pay for user data, but you will.’ Granted, users of the search service receive the usefulness of the index in return for data gathered on them as they interact, but there has always been a question of fairness across all Google properties. As well as concerns with fairness of how much value Google garners from collecting data. With the announcement of Google Webmaster Tools data in the top query section being available for the next year, versus only 90 days, it appears user pressure has proven successful. The Wrapper This is a great opportunity for webmasters to have relevant, quality data to improve the websites under their care. Having a longer view of the changes edits on websites has against the users Google is showing web pages for can only make the relationship between websites and the key phrases they show for all the more qualified. As a results everyone wins; Google produces even better results, the users get the best answers to their questions (in a perfect world :0) ) and website’s get better...

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