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Heads Up! Reporting Change in Google Search Console Data

Gain insight into Google’s July 14th update to Search Console that could have you seeing lower average search positions and an increase in impressions.

Have some questions about dips in your average search positions and increases in your impressions? You aren’t the only one. What was previously believed to be a Google Search Console bug is actually a new feature.

On July 14, 2017, Google updated how they go about measuring the metrics in Google Search Console’s Search Analytics report, primarily for search results in lower positions.

Google provided the following explanation on their Data anomalies in Search Console page:

An incremental improvement in Google’s logging system now provides better accounting for results in lower positions. This change might cause increase in impressions, but also a decrease in average positions. This change only affects Search Console reporting, not your actual performance on Google Search.

Remember that a link URL records an impression when it appears in a search result for a user. For ads, an impression is counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page or other sites on the Google Network.

With this change in how data is gathered, you may see a decrease in your average search position and an increase in overall impressions, but this isn’t a change in your actual performance. It’s only a change in the data set that’s gathered and displayed.

Below is an example from two of our clients who saw this sudden decrease in their average search position. The green line represents average position data:

Google Search Console Report

If your average position dip and impression spike is timed around the middle of July, don’t worry. There’s no actual change to your search engine rankings. There’s simply better accounting for results in lower positions. In the end, this is good news since Google is likely reporting on more long-tail key phrases!

Feel free to reach out if you need help interpreting your Google Search Console data or increasing your search visibility. We ensure that our clients have an online presence anywhere local consumers are searching for their products and services. The question is, who’s searching for your services and do you have the search visibility you need for success?

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