Throughout my blogging experiment, I’ve talked about my Google Webmaster Search Queries increasing and my search rankings climbing for a whole slew of new keywords.
What I’ve been looking into is what exactly that Google Webmaster data means to me. I’ve searched some of the keywords that it says that I rank for and not seen myself (I do the searches in Chrome Incognito mode so it’s not personalized).
I did a quick search to learn a little more about the reason for this strange experience.
According to Google Webmasters, their Search Queries data shows what keywords different pages from your website have shown up in the rankings for and the average position that they have appeared.
Personalized SEO Makes A Difference For Rankings
It’s no secret that Google wants to personalize their search terms as narrowly as they can so that each individual sees tailored results.
This is great for searchers (the real Google customers) because they are being provided with answers that are more likely to help them.
For marketers, this isn’t great. It makes ranking for your target keywords a little more difficult to track. Which in turn makes your social media presence and email list even more important to get traffic to your website.
Google’s Explanation Of Search Queries And Personalized SEO
Here is what Google says about their Webmaster’s Search Query data:
- Different searchers can see different results, based on things like where they’re searching from (geographic differences), personalized search factors, momentary fluctuations, etc. The Top Search Queries data is an average of these searches, so you may not see the same ranking when searching for that keyword right now.
- By default, Top Search Queries data includes searches done on multiple Google properties (Web Search, Image Search, Mobile Search, etc.) and from many countries (google.com, google.co.uk, google.fr, etc.). Your site may rank highly in Image Search but not in Web Search, or may rank highly in Argentina but not in the US. All of this gets averaged together on the main Top Search Queries page. You can filter the data shown using the drop-down menus.
What SEO Tools Do You Use To Track Data?
Are you using Google Webmasters to track your data? I think it’s a good tool to see what keywords you should be tracking, but the actual rankings should be tracked with a different tool.
I had been using Market Samurai for rank tracking, but since the Google update blocked the proxy servers and they changed to a subscription service, I’ve been in the market for a new keyword tracking tool.
Leave your favorite tools and your positive (or negative) experiences in the comments below.