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WMT New "Search Analytics" (Beta) to replace "Search Queries" - Useful or Not?

     
6:35 am on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I just got promoted to the new WMT Search Analytics (beta) tool and I gave it a solid 4 hour non stop testing. My thoughts - very promising tool. In fact I am now thinking of unsubscribing from many of the SERP checking tools I use, leaving only <a tool> (as it is clean, fast and cheap). Everything else <another tool> will go out of the door. The Google tool is that useful.

Is it the hype of the new toy Google gave me that drives me to think of unsub-ing from the plethora of 3d party tools I use, or is it actually that good?

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:37 am (utc) on May 7, 2015]
[edit reason] Removed tool names as per Charter [/edit]

11:32 am on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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To clarify, you are referring to what used to be "Search Queries" option in Google Webmaster Tools, that is now called "Search Analytics".

I have a mixed feelings about this. Whilst I think additional filters are very useful, the new tool does not have "With change" option that the "Search Queries" had. It also misses the total number of queries information and it greatly reduces the number of search queries it shows in the table below the graph.

Comparing numbers between the old and the new version - they are different too. I have selected one week's data and the total of impressions and clicks (web/desktop) are between 20-30% less than what the old tool shows.

Looking further, the "Search Queries" showed much more queries data than the "Search Analytics" where it seems to show you details for only the top 1000 queries.

All together, my conclusion is that whilst some comparisons and filters are useful, number of search queries returned is far far less than the old tool.

At the moment both tools can be accessed, and this is the ideal situation (although I question the difference in numbers reported). I suspect that with the time Google will remove access to "Search Queries" which will leave us with only top 1000 queries which is a significant data loss. I am wondering whether this is in part the aim for introducing the new interface.
1:18 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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does not have "With change"

I hadn't noticed that.
1:38 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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OK, I managed to get some sort of "With change" by selecting:

Checked boxes for: Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Position

Then first selecting Dates comparison and choosing the period(s)
After selecting dates, I went on to select Queries radio button

I got the table containing both periods' data but:

- the percentages up/down with green/red are not shown. This was useful to me before but now I will need to calculate this manually after exporting the data to spreadsheet

- the number of queries is the 999 + 999 minus search query keywords overlap. So in my example I have something like 1300 search queries, whereas old report shows much much more..
4:46 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I want my "with change" back (with the little green and red arrows).
5:53 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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does not have "With change"


It allows you to see the change, using the Dates --> Comparison section of the tool except it is for individual keywords, without an easy way to see all the keywords. It would be nice to have the comparison tool for the queries as well
6:28 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Agreed that the steps required to display "with change" are awkward compared to the ease of the former tool, but I really appreciate the new "Devices" feature and very happy to see the direction the analytics are headed.
9:09 pm on May 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Sure it's a cool tool .. but I don't trust Corporate Google enough to dump any of my other tools ...
4:59 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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does not have "With change"


Yes, I want this back, too. What's being offered now is not something you can use for multiple keywords as before.
5:59 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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OK, so from what I can see the new version:
- has half the amount of keywords we had previously;
- no longer matches pages to keywords
- no longer allows current selection to be filtered by property or location

How much LESS useful could they make it?

Do Google own shares in any of the SERP scrapers out there? They're certainly going to be giving them a lot more more business once the old interface is retired.
11:02 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What I like is that when I download the entire set of data, I can somewhat easily interlink it and thus gain access to keywords matching specific landing page, up and down movement in a similar fashion the old tool provided it, but most importantly If I just want to get an at a glance look of impressions vs clicks vs position metrics for a period I can with 3 clicks, compared to using 2 different 3rd party solutions and still having to make an educated guess.

I do hope they dig deeper in interlinking the tool options and filters with each other. If they do, I will save a pretty penny from the tools I am forced to use today.
11:08 am on May 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Sorry for double posting but, I believe they changed the way impressions are counted as well. Seeing ~ 20% difference in the green, impressions wise, while at the same time the clicks are almost exactly the same as in Analytics. I believe they will unify the two datasets sooner or later.
11:14 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I like it if I'm honest. The filter options are excellent.

Only thing lacking is the data itself. It's still 90 days' worth of stored data. Would be good if they extended this to 24 months so year-on-year comparisons could be made with relative ease. I do recall that being one of the most voted for features when Google asked us what we'd like to see in Search Analytics.
6:06 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Have you noticed the daily ranking fluctuations shown by the new tool. I am quite certain that this can be used to confirm algo penalties, changes and similar way way faster.
4:01 pm on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The filters are nice, but I'm not happy that they removed a lot of the data, like total number of queries and the amount of individual queries displayed in the table. It used to be that, yes, you only had a limited number of queries on any given day, but you could have a greater number with a larger range of dates. Now it shows 999 queries no matter how long a range is selected. Also missing is the number of pages in that view.
9:08 pm on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Dymero, you can actually filter by pages and it'll give you the top pages that way. You can select the same page in the table below and filter it by queries to get the queries for that page. The same top queries table exists within this new tool - it's just not as blatantly obvious as it was before.

In regards to the limited query data, you can setup sub-directory GWT profiles to grab more than the top 1k keywords for your site, but for specific areas of your site. :) It's a neat little trick to get around that issue. Hope that helps. :)
9:38 pm on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Vlexo, yes, I know, and that is very useful. I meant the totals, which I use for some reporting purposes (even if they're not perfect, they're still a decent guide).
8:05 am on Sept 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

Along the lines of Google removing the total queries, does anyone know of an alternative tool to show queries you're showing for in Google? I've been using it to monitor total queries we're showing for in terms of query numbers, and then looking at this figure along with average rank and average click through over time.

Now I'm a little stuck and my data is skewed as we only have 1000 query results.

Thank you!