One SEO professional asked John Mueller why Google’s Search Console may say one thing, but you may not see your site physically ranking.
They explained that their question is about the average position in Google Search Console. A few days ago, they realized that they have over 60 keywords where their site is showing up in position one.
They still don’t understand how that works, because some of the keywords are not really appearing.
They don’t understand why when it says in Search Console that the average position is number one, what does this really mean?
Is it the case that it starts at the top sometimes and says they are on position one, and takes time to appear?
How does this really work?
John explained that the average position is based on what was actually shown to users. It’s not a theoretical ranking, where you would appear at number one if you did the right thing.
It’s really – Google actually showed your page to their users, and it was ranking at number one at that time.
Sometimes it is tricky to reproduce that, which makes it a bit hard, in that sometimes it’s for users in a specific location, or they search in a specific way, perhaps on mobile, or just on desktop.
Sometimes it’s something in an image box or a knowledge graph, or the local business entry.
All of these things are also places where there could be a link to your site.
And if you see something listed as ranking number one, usually what John would recommend doing is trying to narrow that down into what exactly was searched. By using different filters in Search Console, figure out which country that search was in, or what type of query it was for.
Was this on mobile or on desktop, and see if you can try and reproduce it that way.
This happens at approximately the 00:36 mark in the video.