Discrepancies In Webmaster Tools Clickthrough Data

This is a follow up post from my post yesterday about click-through data in Webmaster Tools. After comparing some analytic data and reading numerous tweets and blog posts about the matter, it is obvious that there are discrepancies in the click-through data that is being shown in the Webmaster Tools interface in comparison to Google Analytic data and website logs.

inaccurate webmaster tools clickthrough data

Tom Critchlow from Distilled wrote an excellent post about this yesterday that you can read here: New Google Webmaster Tools Keyphrase Data Is 70% Useless

My take on this subject is as follows: This is a brand new tool released by Google a few days ago. There is obviously a discrepancy when the data is compared, but Google is not one to just sit around and take criticism. If they want this to be a valuable resource for webmasters, they will improve the tool so that analytic data and Webmaster Tools data matches. SEOs, including myself would really like this tool to provide a valuable metric that we can measure over time and use for further website optimization.

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  1. Jack Plouse says

    I cant say I am 100% confident yet, but Google states in the webmaster tools blog…”Webmaster Tools does some additional data processing—for example, to eliminate duplicates and visits from robots—that may cause your stats to differ from stats listed in other sources.”….could this be a reason for the discrepancy?

  2. Dave Bascom says

    GWT data has always been sketchy, so I’d have been very surprised if it were more accurate than it is. I agree with Nelson, however, that it’s a heck of a lot better than nothing and worth looking at to see what you can glean from it. If you don’t find it useful, just keep ignoring it like we do with most of the data in GWT.

    Also, don’t hold your breath that it will ever get more accurate or comprehensive than this. I expect it to always be a bit fuzzy like it is now.

  3. Jim Rudnick says

    As noted by others on various blogs, the numbers are “out of whack” with our own analytics, google’s analytics, Urchin and plain jane .NET scripts too. Which to me means, that the app is not yet ready for public webmaster consumption…surprising a bit as this after all is Google!



  4. Jenn says

    Doesn’t the Google Analytics visits track any visit to your site where the click through data on Google Webmaster Tools would only track the “visits” to your site from the Google search engine result page? This would explain why the GA visit count is higher than the GWT click through count.

  5. Tom says

    Hey Greg, sorry for the slowness – I only just saw your post here. Thanks for the link :-)

    You’re right that it’s early days here but the data is pretty far out for sites I’m looking at. That said, seems like there might be some uses for this data – I’m planning an updated post at some point highlighting what it IS useful for.

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