search queries webmaster tool
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Improved Search Queries in Webmaster Tools

In January 2014, Google announced that it had made some changes to its Search Queries feature in Webmaster Tools.

Webmaster Tools have been upgraded to show more accurate information gathered from search query data. You can see the effect of the changes in the before and after shots of data in the graphs below:


improved search queries in webmaster tools


detailed search queries webmaster tools

As you can see, the old report only shows 14,000 impressions while the new one shows 15,026,995 impressions. Before changes were implemented search query information was bucketed or rounded off. Now, search query data is presented in exact numbers, and, as you can see on the graphs above, gives SEO specialists and webmasters greater understanding as to how much traffic their websites are getting from Google.

In addition to more accurate information, Google has also made search queries more cohesive for webmasters or site owners who manage a mobile site on a separate URL from desktop, such as mobile on and desktop on www. When you view your in Search Queries, set Filters to “Mobile,” from Dec. 31, 2013 onwards and you’ll see:

  • “Queries where your m. pages appeared in search results for mobile browsers”
  • “Queries where Google applied Skip Redirect. This means that, while search results displayed the desktop URL, the user was automatically directed to the corresponding m. version of the URL (thus saving the user from latency of a server-side redirect).”

webmaster tool mobile

What should you do if you have a dedicated

  • Go to desktop page. Add a special link rel=”alternate” tag, pointing to the corresponding mobile URL
  • On the mobile page, add a link rel=”canonical” tag pointing to the corresponding desktop URL
  • If your server automatically redirects the users because of the type of device/agent they use, you need to use the “HTTP Vary: User-Agent” header

You need to make sure that you own your desktop and mobile sites in Webmaster Tools. This will make your communication better and help if you need to troubleshoot problems for it.

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