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Webmaster Tools - Top Search Queries


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#1 Traffic-Bug

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:35 PM

I am trying to do some basic analytics by following Google webmaster tools - the 'top search queries' section. My thought was that this is going to give me the search queries used to find my site - When I clicked through, there are two things appearing: one Impressions : Your site appeared in these searches and the other is 'Clickthrough : Users clicked on your site in these searches'.

I can understand the first one, but I cant fathom the second one. How can Google possibly track the users who clicked through to your site from the searches? Especially because they arent having a tracking/redirect code in the URLs in the search results?

#2 Randy

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:18 AM

There are lots and lots of ways to track clicks. And not all of them are obvious to the end user if they're not really paying attention.

And by really paying attention I don't mean looking at the source code of the page. I mean really paying attention as in monitoring your network connection in real time and flagging certain, usually tiny hits.

That said, I wouldn't put too much faith in the info WMT appears to be telling you if it's anything close to being mission critical. Lots of the data there has been known to be more than a bit screwy from time to time.

#3 Traffic-Bug

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:46 AM

Hey Randy, thanks, your sig link explained it all - Google does keep track of clicks from the SERPs these days - then that would explain how Google can keep track of click thrus from the serps.

#4 Randy

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:19 AM

Just to clarify, according to my tracking of the position data in referral strings Google isn't exposing that for nearly all searches yet. I'm seeing it in about 12-15% of Google referrals in my last check on the subject.

However just because they don't expose the data in a way webmasters can make use of it doesn't mean they're not tracking it internally. It would be blindingly simple from a coding perspective for them to do without the fact that they're doing it being immediately apparent to searchers.




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