tedster - 6:55 pm on Jun 26, 2010 (gmt 0)
I agree with your philosophy - build links because they will generate traffic.
I donít care what shows or what doesn't in the Google Webmaster console because I donít have one. Sorry, if Google wants my valuable tracking data, they can pay me for it
The data you get in WebmasterTools is data that Google already has about your site. It's not like Google Analytics, where the data takes time to build.
I began with a similar philosophy to yours right when WMT launched. But then, because of this forum, I decided to sign up just one domain to see what people were talking about. And what I find is that WMT is giving you a look at Google's experience of your site - what they already know and what crawling or indexing problems they may be having. Most of it is instantly available when you verify ownership.
Some of this is data that you cannot get any other way - such as how many organic impressions your URLs are getting, and the many different ranking positions where they are appearing. The value of "Fetch as googlebot" alone is worth verifying ownership. And the information they share with you can help the site do better on all search engines, not just Google. It helps you grow your traffic.
Analytics - You are giving Google your data
WMT - Google is giving you THEIR data