Webmasters and SEO professionals can now get greater information and insight into how Internet search queries relate to their online properties and their content. In early January, Google made two major announcements with regard to Webmaster Tools, which have been upgraded to reflect more accurate information gleaned from search query data.
Detailed Search Query Impressions
In the past, Webmaster Tools search query information was bucketed or rounded off. This is no longer the case; search query data is now presented in exact numbers and is displayed in a way that gives webmasters and SEO practitioners greater insight as to how much traffic their websites get from Google.
Webmasters who click on the search queries tool will now see the specific impressions their web pages are making on the Google search engine result page (SERP) along with the actual instances when those results were clicked on. This information will be displayed for the past 90 days, and it is very helpful in making webmasters aware of how Internet searchers are finding their content.
Detailed Mobile Site Search Queries
Google is paying close attention to the explosion of smartphones and tablets over the past few years; after all, this is the company behind the popular Android mobile operating system. To greater effect, Google is fully invested on supporting the ongoing mobile search improvement paradigm.
Webmasters who run a separate URL for their mobile sites starting with “m.” are now able to see specific search query data on the mobile pages appearing on the SERP. This new feature will also include data on the instances when Google applied a Skip Redirect procedure, which means that searchers are redirected to a mobile-friendly site even if the search result they click on is of a desktop or “www” website.
Google recommends adding a rel=“alternate” tag as well as a canonical tag to let the search engine spider point to the correct mobile and desktop site. This should be part of the mobile search engine optimization efforts that all web developers and administrators should be implementing.