New Search Query Data in Webmaster Tools

Over the past several months, Google has rolled out some great new tools within Google Webmaster Tools, particularly in the top search queries report.

Top Search Queries Report

The search queries page provides information about Google web search queries that have returned pages from your site. In April of this year, Google updated the top search queries report to provide much more data. Previously the search queries report only showed top search queries and the average position which your site pages appeared in for each particular search query. The report has now been expanded to provide a breakdown of the clicks, impressions and click-through rates (CTR) that a particular search query received, as well as which position your site pages appeared in the search results.

In addition, you can also see which pages are showing for each search query and the CTR associated with it, as shown in the screen shot below:

These reports are great for pinpointing where to focus search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. For example, a particular search query rarely shows within the top few positions in Google and receives a low CTR because of its low placement. However, when the same search query does show in top placements it receives an excellent CTR. Overall, the average CTR is decreased because of the search query not consistently showing within the top placements in Google. The search query report identifies these search queries that can be improved by placing effort on increasing the position for this highly relevant key phrase within Google.

On the other hand, if the CTR for a particular search query is very low when appearing in the top positions this can often indicate that the title tag and meta descriptions need to be adjusted in order for the listing to be more enticing and relevant for visitors to want to click on.

As mentioned, we can also see which pages are ranking for which search query and the CTR associated with it. We can then ask questions such as ‘Do I want this page to rank for this search query?’ or ‘Should another page be showing for this search query?’ and from there make an educated decision as to where SEO needs to be fine-tuned.

Other newer features include the ability to filter the search report by search query, country, and Google search properties (mobile, mobile (smartphone), web, and image) as well as the option to select date ranges.

In summary, using the new data available within the search query reports to identify areas of weakness within the SEO on a website can help increase overall clicks which in turn helps increase the CTR (click-through-rate). Keep checking back as Google is continually making updates to Google Webmaster Tools!

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