In most workplaces a webmaster has to wear many hats and deal with multiple projects. This means it can become very difficult to keep track of multiple websites, and occasionally a problem can develop and not be noticed for some time. Some webmasters are so overloaded it is nearly impossible to find the time to analyze all the data and identify the most critical issues quickly.
Fortunately, in order to make managing websites more convenient, Google has recently incorporated search query alerts into its suite of webmaster tools. After a successful rolling out of alerts for crawl errors a couple of months ago, alerts for search query data has been added to the Google Webmaster tools feature list. With this new feature, all of the alert data is automatically processed and filtered in priority order.
This new search query alert feature enables webmasters to get a lot of interesting and useful information at a glance. For example, you can see the clicks for all of your top pages over a period of time. This means now you can tell if there is a sudden drop or spike in visits to one of your websites, and investigate and take steps as necessary. While these variations in traffic could be related to content, it could also be related to issues like broken redirect links or other technical issues that can be easily resolved by a webmaster.
The search query alert message not only informs you of a significant increase or decrease in web traffic (with a customizable sensitivity threshold), but also provides you with a list of suggested actions such as “check the search queries page” or “check to see whether the traffic change affects the whole website or just a few pages.
Last but not least, it should be noted that you need to sign up for email forwarding in order to receive the search query alerts in your mail inbox.