Google recently upgraded its search reporting tools to help webmasters get a deeper understanding of how users land on a site and review how onsite content is performing. The new Search Analytics report, which is replacing the outgoing Search Queries report in Webmaster tools (newly rebranded to
Google Search Console), was officially released on 6th May, with Google stating the report “enables you to break down your site's search data and filter it in many different ways in order to analyse it more precisely”.
The SEO team at equimedia has been trialling the new report and we’re impressed with additional insight the report now provides.
The first thing to note is the calculation of the data; Google has stated that the new Search Analytics report will be calculated differently to the old Search Queries report, resulting with more accurate data. For example, in Search Analytics the report will count all links in a search result to the same site as a single impression, while the Search Queries report counts every single page as a separate impression. The accuracy of the search queries data has been questioned in the past; however, it does appear that Google is making strides to improve this in the new report.
The interface has been refreshed making it a lot easier to add and remove filters, while metrics and categories can be changed depending on the type of information required. The diagram below shows how easy it is to switch between the different options. The default view shows clicks count only from Google searches in the past four weeks:
Users now have more options to filter and compare the data. For example, after the Mobile Armageddon on 21st April, users interested in how their mobile search has performed since the update can check to see if there has been any impact on their site traffic. This is now possible after a new device category was added, so that users can filter by Desktop, Mobile and Tablet.
The new report also provides you with the option to drill down into how specific sections or pages on your site are performing. This is available through the filter option in the ‘pages’ category. Using this filter, users can also analyse which queries searches were used to find particular pages onsite, an option which was not previously available in the Search Queries report.
The SEO team has also been impressed by the options to download more data for further analysis. Users can now download queries for specific pages, where previously, pages and queries could be downloaded separately. It is also now possible to download tablet traffic; this option is available when filtering from the new devices categories.
The new report looks like it’s going to be a success. The only potential cause for concern is the query data that is made available. The table holds a maximum of 1,000 rows, so for large enterprise sites where there are potentially more than 1,000 queries, this could be cause for concern.
For users who would prefer to continue using the old Search Queries report, this report will be available for three additional months.
What are your thoughts on the new Search Analytics report? We would love to hear you feedback.