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Webmaster Tools - Top Search Queries

 12:05 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

How accurate are the Top Search Queries? I can duplicate my rankings for more than 80% of the terms and my site's supposed rankings. Am I reading this wrong?



 1:37 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Meant I can NOT duplicate...


 5:00 am on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I often have trouble seeing the rankings reported in GWT as well. It could be a combination of the incredible variations in search results (geolocation, browser types. rapid churn, etc) and the occasional bugs in GWT reporting, too. Even the query terms that I know are in my server logs can sometimes be hard to find in the SERPs.

That said - 80%"not found" is a pretty high percentage.


 5:27 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I check my server logs and don't even see action from the terms they claim I rank for. Is it possible we have a penalty and the results the Top Search Queries are returning are the rankings we would have w/o the penalty?


 6:01 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Note that there are two different reports - "Top Search Queries" and "Top Clicked Queries." The first one just measures impressions, not traffic.


 6:38 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Correct me if I am wrong but "Top Search Queries"...shouldn't we be ranking where they say we are?


 6:57 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

As I said earalier, there can be incredible variations in search results today, including geolocation, browser types. rapid churn, time of day, day of the week, repeated queries from the same user, etc. There are also bugs in GWT reporting.

I just take it that someone, somewhere in the world at some recent time has been seeing those rankings.


 7:03 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

So strange....


 8:47 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

When you are looking, are you remembering to change the area drop down to your own? I think standard is US.


 9:16 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am US.


 10:54 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmm, that is odd then..
You certain you have a US IP too?

How about if you change the lcoation drop down to (US) google.com - does that improve the accuracy?


 11:11 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have tried all the different google countries. Nowhere to be found. I am going to try and contact Google. Anyone have an email adress?


 5:44 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Your best bet is asking for help in the Google Group that's focsued on Webmaster Tools. The Webmaster Tools staff participates actively and that gives you access to the right employees in a big company.

There's already quite a bit of discussion over there about "Top Search Queries" - probably worth having a look around.


 9:36 pm on Jun 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

For a .org.uk site that I have recently been dealing with, I see that for many ranking reports it is the .org.au of the same name, that occupies the reported position.

There is no way the .org.uk would have been seen at such a high position as it is a very new site, whereas the Australian site (same name, no other connection whatsoever) is many years old.


 2:27 am on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have found exactly the same thing.

Google says we should be say number 5 for some searches but when I try them we are no where.

Our site's also been affected by teh massive 40-50% drop) so I was assuming this data was from more thn a week ago.


 5:11 am on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

textex, just in case you didn't select Websearch under Search Type in the drop-down. If you didn't, the top search queries are a mix of web search, image search, mobile search etc.


 9:02 am on Jun 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

I usually see a fair bit of disparity in these results, but I agree 80% is too much.

Do you have people in other locations who could check their local results or search via a proxy to see if it's just your local results that don't tally?

Although you can't guarantee that you will actually see results from any one DC you could try a multi-DC search to see what results you get.

[edited by: tedster at 9:26 am (utc) on June 9, 2008]

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