Understanding Keylime Tools Data

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The best data in the world isn’t useful if you don’t know what’s behind the data. Below is a rundown of how Keylime Tools data is generated. Currently, Keylime Tools displays information about how your site performs in Google organic search, so all data is specific to that.


All data and reports are organized by site. Keylime Tools gathers data from both Google Analytics (GA) and Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and these products define sites (and report data for them) differently.
GA reports a single data set for all tagged pages on the site, including subfolders and subdomains so Keylime Tools imports this data as is.

However, GWT considers each subdomain and subfolder (and sub-subfolder, and so on) of a domain to be a different “site”. Keylime Tools aggregates all subdomains and subfolders into a single “site”.

This is a fine plan, except that GWT rolls up “top” queries for each subdomain  (including the www section “subdomain”) so that all subfolders may have overlapping data with the root. Keylime Tools sorts out this confusion by processing and eliminating duplication during the aggregation process. The end result is the maximum number of queries that brought visitors to your site from Google organic search available anywhere.

You navigate between sites either by using the Sites dropdown in the top left or by clicking the site from the Search Analytics Dashboard.

Sites Dropdown


Keylime Tools reports traffic in several ways.

Google Analytics provides information on the total number of visitors that came to the site through Google organic search, but most traffic is not associated with a specific query (called “not provided” traffic). That means that while you can segment queries into topics, the traffic totals for those segments will always be much lower than the true totals.

In addition, Google Webmaster Tools often doesn’t report 100% of traffic (although it does report 100% of traffic for the queries it does provide). Because Keylime Tools aggregates (and deduplicates) data from multiple subfolders, it reports a far greater number of queries than you’ll see in the Google Webmaster Tools interface, but even those aggregated totals are often still a sample.

Keylime Tools does smart calculations to come up with an estimated total traffic for each query segment.

We want to make sure that you understand exactly what you’re looking at when you’re using Keylime Tools traffic data. Here’s what you might see:

Total Traffic

This is the total visits reported by GA and should line up fairly well with the actual visits from Google organic search.

Total Traffic

Provided Traffic

This is the number of visits reported (from either GA or GWT) for the selected queries. Provided traffic is typically displayed for a traffic segment. Keylime Tools aggregates all queries for that segment and reports on the total visits provided by GA or GWT for those queries.

Provided traffic is typically not the same as the actual visits for all the queries in that segment (provided traffic is typically lower).

  • In the case of GA data, provided traffic may be lower than actual traffic because most visits aren’t stored in GA with an associated query.
  • In the case of GWT data, provided traffic may be lower than actual traffic because not all queries for that segment may be provided in GWT.

Right now, Keylime Tools is reporting all visits from Google organic search (from all properties, like web, images, and mobile and from all countries). We plan to provide filters on this data in the future.

Estimated Total Traffic

Keylime Tools estimates the total traffic to each segment by distributing the visits not associated with a query to the likely segments. You can choose the estimation method based on the distribution of provided GA data or the distribution of provided GWT data.

Traffic Estimation

Traffic Details

The combined data Excel download provides even greater insight into the distribution of “not provided” traffic.



Keylime Tools gathers query data from GA and GWT. For each report, you’ll see “provided queries” for both data sources. As noted above, this is unlikely to be the total number of queries (or in the case of GA, the total visits for the provided queries), but Keylime Tools provides as many queries as possible.

While the Keylime reporting interface reports number of provided queries for each data source separately, the combined data Excel file aggregates these data sources and provides even more detailed information about the number of queries that Keylime Tools provides.

For instance, in the example below, you’ll see that GA provides 58,860 queries and GWT provides 521,597 queries (after Keylime Tools has aggregated all the subfolders and eliminated the duplication). But only 6,273 of those queries are overlapping. The rest are unique to one data source or the other.

Excel SummaryKeylime Tools matches the overlapping data and aggregates the rest. The “not provided” traffic is reduced from 96% to 68% and the level of information about what audiences want and what topics are performing well in search has increased significantly.


Keylime Tools organizes all queries and traffic into segments. Tracking specific keywords isn’t generally useful or actionable, both because so many queries are no longer provided and because you can lose sight of the big picture if you look at a keyword and not a topic.

Audiences search for the same thing lots of different ways, and Keylime Tools rolls all of these queries into segments to make it easier to see overall patterns in both traffic and SEO-specific data points, like ranking and click through rate.

SEO Data

Keylime Tools calculates SEO data points by segment based on GWT data. In addition to generating segment-level data in Keylime Tools interface reports, you can see SEO data for individual queries on the Query Details tab and can download these into an Excel file.

SEO Data Points


Google counts an impression any time a searcher sees a listing from your site in search results. Some queries may have no visits at all, and may have only impressions.

Impressions may not be the same as search volume. For instance, if your site’s listing generally ranks on the second page of search results for a query, than the impression count would reflect only the number of searchers who clicked past the first page of results.

Impression data can provide useful context for traffic data. Often, a traffic change is due to seasonality (more or less people searching) rather than other factors. For instance, when the number of queries provided, average ranking, and average click through rate remain steady for a segment, but traffic and impressions both decline, seasonality is likely at play.

Trended Impressions By Query Segment:

Impression Trends



Tracking individual rankings can be a frustrating effort. Rank checkers generally capture ranking for a static list of queries and that can cause you to miss the big picture (maybe your site ranks OK for one query, but it’s just lost ranking for a thousand other long tail queries). In addition, every search result is personalized (in a hundred ways) so rank checkers may not reflect where searchers actually tend to see the site ranking.

Keylime Tools helps reduce some of this frustration in two ways.

  • Keylime Tools uses Google-provided ranking data, which comes straight from query logs and reflects where actual searchers saw the site listed in results. For instance, if 10 searchers saw the site in search results, and 5 saw the site at position 5 while the other 5 saw the site at position 9, Google would provide an average ranking of 7 for that query.
  • Keylime Tools aggregates ranking data for all queries in a segment and provides an overall average ranking for that segment.

Ranking Distribution by Segment:

Ranking Distribution

Ranking Trends:

Ranking Trend

Most Keylime Tools reports provide ranking averages and trends by segment and some reports provide a more detailed breakdown.

Ranking Model

Click Through Rate

The click through rate is the percentage of time a searcher saw the site’s listing in search results and clicked that result. Keylime Tools displays this data for each query (on the Query Details tab) averaged for a segment of queries (throughout most reports) and for each position in search results, both in aggregate and for each query segment (on the Click Through Rate tab).

Trended Click Through Rate for Branded and Unbranded Query Segments:

CTR TrendsCTR Trends

Click Through Rate by Segment By Ranking Position:



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