Google Webmaster Tools is a pretty cool tool for analyzing architectural issues with websites. It can point you towards duplicate content issues, redirection issues, site performance issues, etc. And best of all it’s free.
Unfortunately all of this great data does come at a price: Complacency.
When you get all of this awesome technology handed to you on a platter you may find yourself starting to use it all of the time, because it’s just so damn easy and free.
Here’s the problem:
- The data is often out of date
- The data is not complete
- It doesn’t seem to work for subdomains
Case in point, a client of mine showed no issues in Google Webmaster Tools. The site looked perfect. Then why was their traffic sucking wind? Well, for some reason Google Webmaster Tools neglected to show that a test subdomain of theirs was in the index (Check out “Dev Server Indexed = SEO Death“).
If you are a SEO consultant you should be using your own tools to do this analysis, or at the least be able to find these problems manually.
If you are a publisher, consider this fair warning, what Google Webmaster Tools doesn’t tell you can hurt you, badly.
So get off the GWT crack already and get high on SEO. It’s like totally psychadelic.