A couple of years ago Google frustratingly stopped providing information about organic keyword performance in Google Analytics which it now simply reports as [not provided]. As a result one of the most used components of Google Webmaster Tools has become the Search Queries report which provides useful insights into keyword performance.
Since Feb Google has been testing with a limited number of webmasters a replacement for the Search Queries report called Search Analytics. Over the last couple of weeks Google has started rolling this out more widely and as a result when you log into your Google Webmasters Tool account you may see that Search Queries has been removed and replaced by Search Analytics.
Why should you care?
Search Analytics provides some very useful data filtering, grouping and comparison functionality not available in the Search Queries reports. For example, you can compare performance by device type, filtered by queries not containing your brand terms and filtered by a specific country. Also, as you can see from the screenshot above, Google shows when algorithmic updates have been made (in this case the mobile friendly update 21 April) which means you can quickly check to see if it’s had a detrimental impact on your website.
There are some limitations compared to the Search Queries report – Search Analytics only shows the top 1,000 queries and you seeing a list of queries by individual page is not as easy as with the Search Queries Top Pages report. Hopefully this functionality will be added. Meanwhile you can switch back & forth to the Search Queries report which we understand will remain available for the next 3 months.
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Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.