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Using GWT data to improve search rankings

   
3:22 am on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Has Google Webmaster Tools data helped you modify content in a way that resulted in a direct and noticeable improvement in search rankings? If so, how did you go about it?

I realize that it takes more than on page content to gain in rankings, e.g. incoming links, internal link distribution, etc, but surely the actual on page content has some play in rankings too and to that end GWT has some actionable data but has that every proved fruitful?

Specifically, GWT will display a list of keywords and how many impressions/clicks that keyword received as well as it's rank. If you set the filter to web traffic only, and a page has received more than 10 clicks, the list can be quite extensive. Have you used this list to modify the on page text, or add to it, AND seen that help in rank or would you recommend focusing on just producing more content.

I have an older established site with a lot of keywords on page 2 and 3 in serps and am wondering if GWT can help me boost these to page 1 by simply altering EXISTING content.
5:44 am on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Or maybe deleting pages that don't rank and trying again from scratch would be better?
5:50 am on Feb 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I work mainly on observations from GWT sometimes they can be misleading but with time you might get the hang of it.
10:04 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



By clicking on any keyword you get to know the pages ranking for it. This can then be used to ensure that you are targeting the same page for those key terms and are not directing your SEO efforts on other pages that may lead to cannibalization.

Also, from the HTML errors report - make sure that the pages having duplicate/short/long title and descriptions are fixed. This will help in better optimized site. Also, try and correct the link pointing to 404 pages. These things surely add to the efforts in a better optimized site.
10:29 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



i sure hope 404's dont have an impact. I get 100's daily from poorly formed links on scraper sites or just part shown text urls that google still crawls all ending up as a never ending onslught of 404's. perhaps you just mean internal 404's?
11:32 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@santapaws: Yes primarily the internal ones should be sorted out and can also try getting some external links point to right URLs especially if they come from good (authority/contextual) sites
11:53 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



yes its just that for me 100's of 404's are coming from google simply crawling the truncated text url on scraper sites. No chance of getting that cleared unfortunately.