I do agree with the opinions that state that the upload of a sitemap to Google might be a good option for you, but it might not be a good thing for everybody. There are valid points that support the opinion to provide a feed and valid points that say, do not do it.
This article is not about that discussion though.
I believe that the majority would agree with me if I say, that all the other features outside sitemaps alone are a very good reason why you should create an account and register your sites URLâ€™s. I do not recommend this to Black Hatâ€™s though, but I am sure Matt Cutts disagrees with that for obvious reasons.
I also do not want to go over every tool and service provided by Google Webmaster Central. I might would have done that 6 months ago, but the number of features available today are simply too much to squeeze into a normal sized blog post.
This post focus on the brand new link statistics feature, the query stats and common word usage stats, which were introduced last December.
For more information about Webmaster Central news and features, please refer to the official Google Webmaster Central Blog.
New Features introduced this week.
See announcement at Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Linking is very important, proper linking that is. Even more important are back links when it comes to search engine ranking and visibility. Getting more of those, especially from pages that are highly relevant to the content of your page where the link is pointing to is SEO 101 and of course a good and valid source of targeted traffic.
Keeping on top of who is linking to you, to which page and from which page on the referring site is important. All major Search Engines provide special search parameters like â€œlink:â€ to determine back links in one form or another.
Gathering the data was still very cumbersome for the average Webmaster. Google makes this information now available via their Webmaster Central Tools aka Sitemap to registered Website owners in an easy to use format.
Four different statistics are available for each domain registered with Webmaster Central:
- External Links Count per Page lists all pages of your websites that have at least one link from another domain referring to it and the total number of links that point to the page.
- External Links Details lists every link on a page at another domain that points to your website. It shows the URL of the page on your website the link is referring to, the URL of the page that contains the link to your site and the date Google last found the link (crawled and indexed the page on the other website with the link on it)
- Internal Links Details works like the details list of the external links, but only considers valid links from within your own website/domain.
All four reports are available for download in CSV format to be imported into Excel for example or other SEO tools.
Features Introduced already end of last year
See announcement at Google Webmaster Central Blog
Common Words for your Site shows the top keywords found by Google on your website as a whole. Keywords are being listed by the report in order of priority, which includes factors like use in anchor text in links to your website and prevalence of the keyword on your site itself. This is a little vague for me. It is probably more than just by number of occurrences in pages, but weighted as well (e.g. use in Title tags, Hx tags etc.).
Common Words in external Links to your site is the analysis of keywords used in anchor text used by other sites that link to your site. I do not know how those are ordered, certainly not alphabetically. I would assume that number of occurrences is the main factor and may be if the link is used by Google for ranking (PageRank) or not (no follow links, sites that do not pass PR etc.).
Google summarizes it nicely at the Webmaster Central Website.
- Top search queries are the queries on the selected search property that most often returned pages from your site.
- Top search query clicks are the top queries that directed traffic to your site (based on the number of clicks to your pages).
- Average top position is the highest position any page from your site ranked for that query. Since our index is dynamic, this may not be the same as the current position of your site for this query.
- All data is averaged over the last 7 days.
Following Stats are currently available. All three are available for download as well.
- Top (20) Query Stats
- Top (20) Search Query Clicks
- Complete Website Query Stats including Sub Directories*
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*The statistics breaks down for each folder on your website the ranking per Google site (Google.com, Google.co.uk etc.), Type of Search (Web Search, Image Search etc.) and Key Phrase. It is not URL specific yet.
The report tells you that a page located at www.yoursite.com/folder/ ranks #2 for â€œblue widgetsâ€ in Googleâ€™s UK Image Search, but not which page exactly. Google returns one or multiple key phrases for the same folder/location/search type in one record. It is not easy to work with that, but there is a solution for that. More about that is a second.
Query and Links Stats Downloads Conversion Tool
I created yesterday a little tool that allows the conversion of any of the 7 reports available at Google Webmaster Central to other delimited formats. The tool offers a variety of choices regarding the delimiters for rows (records), columns (fields) and the text qualifier (â€œ).
This feature alone is nice all by itself but not the reason why I created it. The complete Website Query stats file format was bugging me for a while already and the latest additions of features to Webmaster Central only triggered the decision to create it now.
The problem with the Website Query stats report is the format if you have more than one key phrase per folder/location/search type. Google puts all the phrases and their rankings into one field like this:
… ,”[key phrase one:1][key ""phrase two"":2]“
I do not know any software that supports that. My tool breaks those down into individual records and adds one additional column for the count. Like this:
â€¦ ,”key phrase one”,1
â€¦ ,”key “”phrase two”””,2
Some programs have a problem with real CSV files and the double-quote text qualifier and others do not even support CSV at all, but other delimited formats. So I said to myself â€œwhat the heckâ€ and added the option to change the output format, for example to pipe delimited without using a text qualifier.
â€¦ |key phrase one|1
â€¦ |key “phrase two”|2
Googleâ€™s file also uses the line-feed as row separator, which is common for the Linux and Unix world, but causes problems in some cases on Windows PCâ€™s. You can change the row separator to carriage return and line feed in those instances for example.
To convert the file via my tool, either upload the saved CSV file from your local machine to the tool or use the API, which I also provide to feed it from a location on one of your websites.
If you have any comments or suggestions for the tool, let me know. I would appreciate that. Thank you.
Note: You still have to download the feeds manually from the Google website. My API won’t do it for you.
Google does unfortunaly not provide the option to automate the download like via HTTP request and username and password passed in the URL.
I tried that. The URL would look like this (Backlinks per Page Count):
(The URL should be one string. The line breaks are for demonstration)
There are ways around it which I will not discuss at this point, because I prefer if a service provider realizes the need for interfaces and web services to optimize and automate things rather than scrape it right off the bat.
is an Internet Marketer and Entrepreneur who operates Cumbrowski.com, a website that provides tons of free resources to Internet Marketers, Web Developers, DBAâ€™s and Small Businesses to everything related to Internet Marketing and Web Development. See also: Public Events Calendar, SEO/SEM News, Internet /Affiliate Marketing News