Google recently informed site owners that changes were made to the way Search Console tracks certain sets of query data.
In a series of tweets, Google explains the details behind the changes that were made on August 19.
“We recently (Aug 19) made some changes in the way Search Analytics / Search Performance calculates total numbers for its graph… We noticed some confusion, and wanted to clarify the change.”
The changes specifically affect the way Search Analytics/Search Performance calculates totals for queries that do not match a piece of text.
Prior to August 19, totals for “query not containing” data included the sum of queries that weren’t tracked in Search Console.
Google Search Console does not track queries that are made a very small number of times, or queries that contain personal or sensitive information.
Although those queries are not tracked, they were still represented in the totals for “query not containing.” As of August 19 that is no longer the case.
“Going forward, we’re only including the sum of those that we track and can match in Search Console. This change doesn’t affect the queries shown in Search Console, nor how we treat these untracked queries.”
An annotation has been added in Search Analytics to make sure users are aware of this change when viewing reports.
In addition, Google Analytics will stop showing a placeholder with “other” for untracked queries.
Users seem to be annoyed with this change for the most part. Google says it was made in order to account for more queries.
This change is also said to support “exciting” Search Analytics features that are being planned for the future.