Jennifer Slegg did a good job, over at SEWatch, of recapping Google’s most recent update to Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t read her entry, I suggest you go read it now.

I’m not going to recap everything she wrote, but the newest update has left me with some opinions.. and some lingering questions.

Opinions About The Change

  • The “update” bar in the graph is nice, because webmasters can monitor whether or not this reporting update will influence their site visibility. For most of us, I expect it won’t, but I’m interested to see what happens for all our clients.
  • The claim that this data isn’t bucketed or rounded is pretty silly. Google’s pretending that we’re getting 100% accurate data. I believe that these are probably still just estimations, at best. They’re probably fairly accurate estimations, though.
  • As usual, I wouldn’t hang my hat on any of the numbers in these graphs or reports. On the other hand, they’re a great way to identify trends and problems.

Questions For Google

  • When are you going to give us long-term data? You’re trying really hard to get us to use your platform to report on rankings and organic impressions. Give us historical data we can actually use.
  • Now that you’re giving us auction insights in Google AdWords, why won’t you give us organic insights on Webmaster Tools? As long as you don’t provide this, people are going to continue to scrape your data.
  • When will you give us the ability to segment this data by match type? Again, we have this information in AdWords, and we’d like it in WMT.

I’m thankful that Google is making constant strides to give us better information for free. But this latest update doesn’t really go far enough. While I can appreciate that Google might want us to pay a premium for some of the information (like, say, a hefty AdWords account), I’m agitated that the support and features in the free versions of their tools is lagging so far behind their paid features.

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