Relevancy and Accuracy of Top Search Queries Tool in Google Webmaster Tools


Google has created a set of tools to help Webmasters see interesting and important Google data about your site (try it here). One of the “statistics” related tools gives you “Top Search Queries” for discovering keywords that you rank for (see image). The queries are more “fun” than interesting, in our case. Several of the keywords we don’t even rank for at all and almost all of the keywords are not even related to the purpose of our site.

I ran a keyword ranking report (feature of SoloSEO) to verify the rankings of these keywords in Google. Below are the results, and I added a column to the report with what Google Webmaster Central says is the rank. Green denotes a match, orange is within 2, yellow is more off, and red is way off (although I didn’t check in the 200-300 range).

Keyword Google
Google Yahoo MSN/Live
jensen 4
david ristau 262
get blog gooogle 1 1 6
domainfellow blog 1 1 9 2
soloseo 1 1 1 2
“named on that page” 1 1 37 6
michael jensen blog 3 4 1 5
apply yourself seo 3 4 1 7
tagged 5 5
blog tag games 5 6
blog tagging 7 6
“blog tag” pulver 6 6 25 4
phonitick spewling 5 7 11 7
spehl korector 7 8 7
lucky blitz chip 9 9
3 12 month free 10 12
stewart jensen 6 15
$350 in 3 18
chocolate experiments 17 19
lisa barone 20 22 38

80% of the listed keywords’ “average top position” are within 2 of their actual ranking (not bad). The keyword “jensen” is way off, we’re not even in the top 100 for that. The keyword “david ristau” (from the blog tag tree) ranks us way in the “never browse to” range of Google’s results, so I’m not sure why Google even displays that one. (Update: I just ran this again and it said we were ranked #7 for seo (whoa sweet!), but we’re not even in the top 100 (ouch!) for that one…yet.)

I hope you also noticed how “irrelevant” these keywords are to what we actually do (what we do). ranks for many more keywords than those in this short list; keywords that are actually relevant to what we do. From our site analytics, I know we get organic traffic from our relevant keywords, as well as from some of these that Google lists.

It seems to me that Google calculates the “Top search queries” based on actual user searches. This list of “top search queries” is always changing, maybe even daily, which leads me to also believe that Google is considering click-through with these results. However, it still boggles me why other relevant keywords don’t show up because they are in our analytics.

What’s your experience, are your “Top search queries” relevant and accurate?

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