New additions to Webmaster Tools – Gimmick or Game Changer?

by Peter Young on May 6, 2010 · 0 comments

It feels like only yesterday that we saw Google take a significant step forward in terms of the Webmaster Tools reporting functionality when they introduced the clickthrough information through the service. That has had a mixed reception from the industry, with the validity of the reported data being the main sticking point.

Today, Google have announced yet further additions to the service, including

  • Changing ‘Top Search Queries’ to ‘Search Queries’
  • Addition of Average position column
  • Addition of starred tab – for easier access to starred results
  • Now showing a “Displaying” number for Impressions and Clicks

The final point would appear to require further details with Google adding

This number represents a total count of the data displayed in the Search Queries table. The number in bold appearing just above it is a total count of all queries including the “long tail” of queries which are not displayed in the Search Queries table. When the “Displaying” number is not visible, such as when you select a specific country from the “All countries” drop-down menu, then the bold number is the total count of the data displayed in the Search Queries table.

This average position functionality has also been added to the downloadable documents.

It should be noted that this doesn’t represent a significant addition to the framework, and feels rather more like a tweak. With much of the focus still on the integrity of the data, I still think there is some work to do before we can really take this serious as a day to day tool – however it is good to see Google still putting resource behind this – rather than letting it go the same way as Buzz/Wave et al. However until this data is something we can trust its going to be nothing more than a gimmick rather than what could be a hugely useful business tool.

The official Google announcement can be found here

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