Yesterday, we posted about Google’s sudden migration to total secure search and how it impacted search engine optimization. We mentioned that Google had also cut off search query data to Webmaster Tools. Our hope was that it was just a bug, but our speculation was that this move was calculated as a part of the new secure search policy. Today, we got answers and it is as we had hoped. It’s only a bug!
A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Watch that “we’ve recently fixed a small bug related to data reporting in Webmaster Tools. We expect reporting to return to normal in the coming days.” It’s a relief to get an official statement after a week of nearly no word, leading SEOs to believe that the data may not come back.
After Google moved to secure search entirely, Analytics users flocked to Webmaster Tools to continue receiving keyword data. While Webmaster Tools does not allow you to get nearly as precise in your analysis, it at least tells you important impression and click data that helps drive keyword research. Webmaster Tools, used in conjunction with Google Analytics and Google Trends, can be an essential tool in your website’s search engine optimization.
So hopefully you will find some relief in knowing that the missing data was simply a technical issue as you scramble to figure out how encrypted search will impact your search engine optimization strategy. Webmaster Tools is here to stay (for the time being). We’ve already seen search query data restored through September 25th and we’ll be waiting anxiously for the rest as we continue to manage our own internal strategy and those of our clients.
If you would like to discuss how encrypted search will alter your analytics reporting and your search engine optimization strategy, feel free to contact one of our strategists at 763-548-2297.