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A Dip in Average Search Position in Google Search Console is No Cause for Alarm

Dip in rankings in GSC? Don't panic!

Have you noticed a dip in your average search position and an increase of 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, 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 an 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 site 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 how the data set is gathered and displayed.

Google may be reporting on more queries regardless of rankings, not just more low-ranking queries. This would help explain a drastic drop in average position. An examination of the types of new queries that are ranking after the update doesn’t reveal that there’s a specific pattern or format; there’s simply more volume, reports Search Engine Land.

If you’re seeing a position dip and impression spike timed around the middle of July, don’t worry. We can’t emphasize this enough: 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 as Google is likely reporting on more long-tail key phrases!

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