One of my biggest bugbears with some of the data that comes out of Google is often the accuracy of the public facing data it provides, whether this be Adwords traffic estimates or percentage clickthroughs from Webmaster Tools. In particular it is the search based data in particular that really grates me, as this is data that Google should easily have at its disposal – and whether you be a SEO or a Paid Search Manager should be the focal point for quality planning on any campaign.
Instead in the past we have had rough figures provided by Google – which in the absence of any other qualified data (such as 100% exposure PPC data) suffices. Suffices in business though is often not good enough and if Google want to increase their revenues may I suggest a simple look at the management data they provide may be a better start than opportunist changes to the search engine pages obviously designed to inflate click through on paid search results.
On that note – however Google do appear to have made some tentative steps in the right direction. As of May the 10th, Google have announced a number of changes within the estimate tool on its Adwords interface to provide marketeers with better data as regards clicks, cost and ad position. Unlike many other recent Google updates this has been rolled out globally rather than in select countries. Along with the reintroduction of local search volumes (on a keyword level), I can’t help thinking this is at least a start in the right direction – however looking at potential search volumes one still has to question the validity of the data coming back.