Google Webmaster Tools Search Query Filter Got an Update Today... slowly getting there....
It seems that the Google Webmaster team is trying to gear up for a break over Christmas with their latest update to the keyword search queries filters that make it a bit more manageable for webmasters and those optimising their website for Google. The new filters offer 3 primary sections that you can add to your data to refine and better understand how your website is appearing in Google search results and also show pretty little graphs to quickly preview and understand your search queries.
The first filter which you can choose to apply is search, it would be great when Google finally starts splitting out local/places traffic as a filter but currently it is just the following:
- all results
- image results
- mobile results
- mobile (smartphone) results
- video results
- web results
The second filter which you can choose to apply is location but would be helpful if you could select regions such as Asia/EU or multiple countries but it’s just 2 options below:
- all locations
- a specific country
The third filter which you can choose to apply is traffic but this is not really useful as for larger websites with hundreds of thousands or millions of impressions there needs to be more granular breakdown of traffic volumes such as 10+ impressions and 10+ clicks because impressions and clicks are a totally different metric to measure your campaign on. The traffic volume breakdown should also be scaled to suit the account so larger enterprise websites don’t really see value on seeing search results with more than 10 impressions/clicks when they are potentially focusing on millions of impressions/clicks there needs to be an expansion of filters beyond just the two below:
- all search queries
- all search queries with more than 10 impressions/clicks
Google has slowly improved its search query report that you can now see what are your top pages in the Google search results and you can also apply the same filters listed above to see what are the top pages you are showing on mobile smart phone visitors from Australia in the Google search results. Again it would be great to see multiple selections possible but it’s still great to get a quick overview outside of Google Analytics as to what might be the top landing pages and why certain pages. The webmaster tool can also be used to discover why you might be getting a large spike in high bounce visitors, as you can see that a particular page typically gets a high volume of impressions and clicks on Google Image search results.
When you select and apply the filters you can see them applied in small blue boxes as shown below, but you cannot click on them to alter or delete you must click the filter button to adjust any currently applied filters. It would be great if a bit of time was spent focusing on improving the filter labels with some AJAX to make them a bit more intelligent and also having the ability to apply multiple filters would be helpful as explained above.
There is a move forward with the Google Webmaster Tool platform but there still seems to be so much that can be done to add more transparency to how Google is driving traffic to your website but there is still a lot more that can be done around types of search traffic and volume of search traffic.