Say Goodbye to Not Provided

Google Webmaster Tools newly-announced Search Analytics brings with it a rescue from the dreaded [not provided] debacle of the past 3 1/2 years.

Google’s talking about “more precise data” etc. in the new Search Analytics report–referring to the massive data issues in the old Top Queries and Top Pages reports in Webmaster Tools, where often the numbers were totally hallucinogenic, attributing 10s of thousands of clicks at a time to the wrong landing pages and many other errors.

While it’s really nice that these data issues have apparently been fixed, what’s REALLY going to be a help to webmasters everywhere is that you once again have access to all of the query data on a per-landing-page basis.

I took a quick look at the data for one of my landing pages, and while the data does seem to include the [not provided] searches, the numbers still don’t quite add up.

As an example:

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They’ve provided a very helpful Download button at the bottom, which lets you dump the data into an Excel spreadsheet. This is great, but it’s still not without its problems. The total clicks in the spreadsheet from the Download of the data you’re looking at in the above screenshot? 5653. Oops. That’s off by 35%.

But, it’s still officially in beta (according to the page title), so I expect they’ll work some of these bugs out.

The really good news, however, is that you can get FAR more query data now than ever before. And I’m happy about that.

UPDATE: for a much more detailed analysis of this, see Dan Kern’s excellent post here.

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