One SEO professional was concerned about Google Search Console and how accurate the metrics are, and whether or not they can trust them. More specifically, the GSC search performance report.
John replied that the data in Google Search Console search performance report is actually based on real search results that were physically shown to actual users.
These numbers are not theoretical.
Google explains more about these metrics in this Google Search Console Help article.
This average position is based on the average top position of your site’s URL. In GSC, if multiple URLs from the site are shown on the SERPs (search engine results page), then GSC will end up using the top most one for that average data.
It’s also important to note that you may not see exactly the same thing that GSC is showing, because of personalization and localization attributes of specific SERPs.
There is also the possibility of short-lived visibility in search.
It’s also possible that your site may be appearing in image search results within the normal organic search results.
So, average position and other metrics in the search performance report within GSC are all based on actual search results, but these types of results can actually be varied.
You can watch the full video here:
John Mueller AskGooglebot Transcript
Have you ever wondered about the average position metric in Search Console? Well, so has Mohit, who’s asking how relevant and believable is the average position metric in GSC?
Well, the data in the Search Console search performance report is based on actual search results that were shown to users. It’s not a theoretical number, but rather based on actual results. We have a Help Center page with more information about these metrics.
If you’re curious about the details, I’ll link to it in the description below. The average position is based on the average top position of a URL from your site. If there are multiple URLs from your website, which are shown in the search results page will use the top most one for this average.
You might not always see the same position when you check yourself. That’s generally due to personalization, or geo targeting, or because of short lived visibility in search. You can sometimes make assumptions that this is happening if you see a number of impressions, which is significantly lower than what you’d expect for those queries.
That’s usually a sign that your site was only visible for a small part of the overall impressions. For web results, keep in mind that your site might also be appearing in the images within the normal search results.
In short, the average position and other metrics in the search performance report are based on actual search results, but actual search results can be quite varied.
I hope you found this video useful and insightful if there’s something you want to add or If this video has helped you. Feel free to comment below.