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We are seeing some quite strange query data in Google WMT. Keywords which are getting impression and clicks one month disappear 2 months later (but doing a bit of rank checking proves our site still ranks for many of those keywords) This doesn't add up.

So I've been doing a bit of research:

There are a couple of popular (and conflicting) blog posts about the value of Google WMT query data.

http://www.portent.com/blog/analytics/google-webmaster-tools-query-data-is-worthless.htm

In response:

http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2287606/google-webmaster-tools-search-query-data-is-accurate-and-valuable

It seems pretty clear that WMT query data is becoming less valuable because of secure search / not provided and limited visibility of keyword data. Google apparently promised some solution to this earlier this year.

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/03/17/keyword-not-provided

Have there been any developments?

One thing that I have picked up:

Google publicly say that "Webmaster Tools shows data for the top 2,000 queries that returned your site at least once in search results"

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35252?hl=en

However our own WMT account reflects over 14000 queries for the last 30 days. Is Google's documentation out of date?

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    Google documentation can often be way out of date. Sometimes there is are updated or new documentation but the old documentation which should have been removes outranks the new documentation. Also know that GWT is often two days behind. As well, if you are checking ranking via the online repository sites, understand that these sites are beyond horrible and cannot be relied upon. Many SEO GUI based tools rely upon these repository sites too so there is no escaping them. Some sites are better than others. SEMRush seems to do a better job than most for ranking keywords. – closetnoc Dec 9 '14 at 16:27
  • Yes, third party tools rely on WMT so there's not third party solution. Thanks for the SEM rush tip. – Matt Evans Dec 10 '14 at 7:14
  • I have also come across multiple cases where Google docs are out of date, but is this one of them? – Matt Evans Dec 10 '14 at 7:14
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    It is hard to tell, but this support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35252?hl=en does look about right. I wish Google would retire some of these older pages or at least put a date on them. – closetnoc Dec 10 '14 at 7:23
  • I also meant that the online sites use repositories totally unrelated to Google. These sites are wildly inaccurate because they do not have the capacity to spider the web the way Google can. For example, for 15 years, not one of them, except SEMRush, has ever realized that I had over 8000 links from over 2000 domains (at one point) reporting that I had about 8 or 10 links or something as useless as that. They are junk. Even the best of them. – closetnoc Dec 10 '14 at 7:27

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