The role that Google Webmaster Tools plays in the daily lives of many Web workers is a significant one.
From monitoring the health of a website (e.g. crawl errors), to understanding the queries that users employ to find a website, the most savvy ‘Net professionals make the information available through the platform a key driver of their decision making. For many however, the process is just too time intensive.
Fortunately, Google over the past year has introduced features into Webmaster Tools that help keep Webmasters (or anyone responsible for Web success) in the know about a site’s performance and prominence in the search engine’s index without forcing them to analyze all the data and identify the most important issues on their own.
Google previously rolled out alerts for Crawl Errors for example, but this week introduced alerts for Search Queries data. And the SEO community cheered!
The Search Queries feature in Webmaster Tools as you may well know shows the impressions and clicks of a website’s top pages over time. When there is a spike or a drop in either, Google will now post an alert in the account (there is a ways to set up forwarding so the message can be received via email) making it quite a bit easier to know about the most significant shifts occurring.
Know that spikes or drops are actually quite routine or common and that many factors can be at play and cause these alerts. For example, there may be technical issues caused by a storm one day, an on-site SEO update may have caused some redirects to break, or it may even simply be related to “differing demand for your content” as Google so sublimely stated. Whatever the reason, it's not hard to agree that the alerts will prove useful and be welcomed by users.