Create a Dashboard for Google Webmaster Tools… Painlessly

google-webmaster-tools-api-dashboardsSometimes we get complaints from users regarding our Google Webmaster Tools integration being very picky, if not hard to set up.

They are right actually.

First off, we sure have a part of the fault here. It’s our job to make things simple even if that means complex stuff behind the scene. The users simply don’t care about our technical challenges. They want the tool to work. Period.

For some third party integrations like Google Analytics, their API is like a developer’s paradise. Powerful, well structured, very flexible. We can do about anything with Google Analytics API.

For other integration, like Google Webmaster Tools, it’s more like a catch 22. We are damned if we don’t provide it to our users and we are also damned if we do as it’s not a straight forward as Google Analytics.

The thing is that we long waited for Google to release an API as great as the one they have for Google Analytics. They even open the door to something imminent back in June 2013!

We are still waiting for it unfortunately.

We hear you saying « Google Webmaster Tools have an API, right? ». Yes they have an API. But it’s minimalist and it doesn’t include the most important data, in our humble opinion, which is the top queries and top pages. Especially since Google started hiding organic queries in Google Analytics few months ago.

So we went tired of waiting. We decided to offer Google Webmaster Tools integration using what’s available from Google.

That means this is not perfect, but it works. Yes, we would have preferred to provide an integration as great as Google Analytics, but we think it’s way better than no integration at all.

We received great comments from our clients so we firmly believe we made the right decision to offer it.

It comes at the cost of some irritating process when setting this up. But once it’s set up, it works like a charm actually.

The pain points and what to do about them.

There are two major pain points when connecting your Google Webmaster Tools account.

First, you need to grant a restricted access to gwt2@dashthis.com (that’s us!) to all the profiles you’d need to connect. An API like Google Analytics offers an easier process where you connect an account in two or three clicks.

Second, you need to add the source in DashThis. The source is the exact URL as it is listed in Google Webmaster Tools. That means if you entered domain.com then you need to enter it like this in DashThis. www.domain.com won’t work.

Google Analytics has a way of getting all sources automatically. We can’t do that from Google Webmaster Tools. We wish we can!

So long story short, we are aware of the pain points regarding creating a dashboard for Google Webmaster Tools. We are working to make this process as smooth as possible. Hopefully, Google will release a better API some days.

If you have any questions, comments or require support regarding Google Webmaster Tools, don’t hesitate to contact our awesome support! We’ll be more than happy to assist.

Stéphane has been working on business Web projects for more than 15 years. He has a computer science degree and a MBA specialized in e-commerce from Laval University in Quebec City. That also explains why his writing can sound weird: He is a French Canadian!

View his LinkedIn profile or email Stephane: stephane@dashthis.com



Category: Client Reporting, Marketing Dashboards, Web Analytics | Tags: , , , 3 comments »

     

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