Thread: Search console

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    Search console


    Ok, I know it's been asked before, but how reliable is search console.

    I answered the question some time ago thinking I was being clever. I mean I know it's not all accurate. I know there's bits missing, but how reliable is it for determining rank? I've been watching it for a few months everyday and my rank keeps on climbing in SC, but actual serp I haven't climbed nearly as high. When I say search I do record an incognito search every few days and there's no way SC is at all accurate. What's going on?
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    I've never thought to ask why its not that accurate, ha. I have just always paid attention to the actual SERPs. But I take it you are turning History off?
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    There are many reasons why you won't see the same results that Google is reporting, including location, personalized results, and constant rank fluctuations. Look at your impression count for the keywords in question, compared to their search volume estimates. If you are getting way less impressions than the estimated volume, odds are it is a result of the factors I mentioned.

    Keep in mind by default GSC shows a 28 day average position, you can change it to 7 day for a more current average but, GSC seems to always be at least a couple days behind any way.
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    Its not to be used for Rank Tacking, it is good for insights as to what you should maybe be targeting. Use proxies and (set your geo-location if possible as well) track your keywords. This will make sure you are not getting personalized results.
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    I think you should still be worrying about your design!

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    I thought your comment had been hacked or something then Tom!

    I wouldn't be worrying about GSC data, just look for yourself. Instead of looking at rankings, look at traffic in Analytics instead.
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    Originally Posted by ryandiscord

    Keep in mind by default GSC shows a 28 day average position, you can change it to 7 day for a more current average but, GSC seems to always be at least a couple days behind any way.

    Google has stated that Analytics and GWT have different reporting periods, so you should see a difference there.
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    I found this from google (search console help):

    Originally Posted by google (linked above)
    "The Google Search results page is composed of many search result elements. Search result elements include blue link sections, carousels, Knowledge Graph cards, and many other types of result features.

    The position value shown in the Search Analytics report is the position of the topmost link to your site or page in search results, averaged across all queries in which your site appeared.

    ...here are just a few possible explanations of a position value 11 for an element:
    In a desktop search, it could mean the top right side position in a Knowledge Graph card
    In a desktop search, it could mean first item on page 2 (if the first page had nothing on the secondary side)
    In desktop image results, it could mean the second or third row of results (visible without scrolling)
    On mobile, it could mean the sixth row of results (visible only with scrolling)
    As you can see, a position number can mean different things in different situations"
    So it's not just your organic rankings for the keyword (on a desktop).

    For example you can filter results by 'device' and 'search type':
    If you don't you are getting some sort of calculated average (see linked page for details) which includes data from web searches, image searches, video searches, desktops, mobiles and tablets.
    If you do, 'desktop' and 'search type web' would depend on where (on the serps page) your results are shown (blue link sections, carousels, Knowledge Graph cards, etc)!

    All too complicated for me; I'll just continue to use it as an indicator

    Comments on this post

    • DirectHits agrees : Great find!
    • ryandiscord agrees
    ClickyB
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    I think you should still be worrying about your design!
    I know my design doesn't exactly work on all of my pages. I just wanted the landing page to look a little better. No improvement in GA, failed again.

    I wouldn't be worrying about GSC data, just look for yourself. Instead of looking at rankings, look at traffic in Analytics instead.
    I don't trust analytics anymore either. It says my traffic has more than doubled over the last 3 months where as the little bit of code I put on my site to tell me how many visitors each page recieves tells me traffic has been in a bit of a slump with no real gains at all. I think google are playing with me, I'm losing my mind again.

    @clickyB, that's a good piece of information, I'll look into that now, although I doubt I score for anything other than a normal search query.

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