Additions & Takeaways
Two important changes occurred recently within Analytics and Webmaster Tools all related to keyword information in Google. For those who are keyed into data related to White Hat SEO management, one change isn’t particularly surprising (it’s been a long time coming) while the other is very positive.
Keyword Not Provided
Back in 2013, keyword information in Google experienced a dramatic shift. Specifically, search became “secure;” the search terms a visitor used to find your website started to get masked. Since then, we’ve seen the amount of keyword information in Google Analytics steadily diminish. Now this information is gone.
Oh well, it was good while it lasted. We’re not surprised that Google is becoming even more secretive, especially in light of all the algorithm changes and nuances (e.g., Pigeon affects local SEO).
More Keyword Information in Google Webmaster Tools
On the flip side, there’s a great deal of useful keyword information in Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT). Even though you’re limited to three months of data, you want to mine the data for SEO insight.
Many clients ask what’s the difference between Analytics and GWMT with regarding to keywords and SEO health. Here’s an easy differentiation:
- GWMT shows data before a visitor comes to your website. For example, you can see how many impressions a specific web page received. Think of GWMT data as off-page SEO information. It tells you what’s happening on the Web with regard to your website. The most important data, in my opinion, is keywords assigned to each web page. This is how Google views your site.
- Google Analytics shows data once a visitors comes to your website. Once a prospect lands on your website, you can view slices such as characteristics (e.g., demographics) and behavior (e.g., clicks, bounce, length of time on a page).
So what’s new?
In the search queries section (located under Search Traffic in the menu), an additional tab is available. Previously you could only download the table and chart. You can now toggle between “Basic” and “With Change.” In this area you can:
- Use different filters, including All, Image, Mobile, Video, Web, you can now view your website appearance in these search formats.
- Sort the table by impressions, clicks, CTR and average position.
- See percentage changes. “With Change” the table view shows the % change within the last month. FYI – this feature is a month-to-month calculation. In order to see how your website has fared over longer durations, I recommend downloading the table each month into a spreadsheet for further analysis and comparisons.
I’m working on a series of posts focused on keyword information available in Google and how to make the best use of it all. Do you have a burning question? If so, I’ll be sure to add it to an upcoming article.
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