Google Webmaster Tools is Incorrectly Displaying Keyword Positions

Oct 20, 2008 • 10:36 am | comments (8) by | Filed Under Other Google Topics

A WebmasterWorld member reports that he was dependent on the Top Search Queries report in Google Webmaster Tools and has found it to be providing incorrect data. After all, using another rank checker proved to see no results and there were no visitors to that page.

This is likely to be a bug, according to Tedster:

Webmaster Tools reports of all kinds are known to contain wrong information at times. This kind of wrong information would be particularly distrubing, but in any big system errors do creep in. The evidence of your own server logs is more dependable.

He adds that it's possible that the ranking is achievable:

[M]aybe the WMT report is pulling the position information before some filter is applied to come up with the final rankings. Even though that would certainly be buggy behavior, it might accidentally be showing you that your url COULD rank that well, if only you weren't tripping some kind of filter.

Still, though, the tool in Google's backend is misleading.

Would you consider this a bug?

On a related note, The Official Google Webmaster Central Blog says that this could be an issue with the kind of data that WMT sees. They suggest that you add the www and non-www versions of the same site to Webmaster Central, do a site: search to look for any anomalies, set your preferred domain, and set a site-wide 301 redirect to www or the non-www. Of course, this is probably not applicable to the reporting issue in WebmasterWorld, though it may be related to other issues within Google Webmaster Tools.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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