Posted by rjonesx.
There are a handful of data sources relied upon by nearly every search engine optimizer. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) has perhaps become the most ubiquitous. There are simply some things you can do with GSC, like disavowing links, that cannot be accomplished anywhere else, so we are in some ways forced to rely upon it. But, like all sources of knowledge, we must put it to the test to determine its trustworthiness — can we stake our craft on its recommendations? Let’s see if we can pull back the curtain on GSC data and determine, once and for all, how skeptical we should be of the data it provides.
Before we dive in, I think it is worth having a quick discussion about how we might address this problem. There are basically two concepts that I want to introduce for the sake of this analysis: internal validity and external validity.
Internal validity refers to whether the data accurately represents what Google knows about your site.
External validity refers to whether the data accurately represents the web.
These two concepts are extremely important for our discussion. Depending upon the problem we are addressing as SEOs, we …read more