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I have a website I am tracking on Google's Webmaster tools. When I look at the Search queries page it shows me a graph of Impressions and clicks per day. Underneath that there is a table showing specific results. One of the columns is Avg Position. That columns seems to include paid ads.

Is that correct, does the Avg Position also include the top result ads(the ads at the top of the search results)? I am asking because the company I work for has a not so common name and whenever I Google it our site is the #1 result 100% of the time. The only thing above it is 1 paid add. When I checkout Webmaster tools I notice that searching for our name returns with us at an Avg Position of 2.0. That seems like it would be only possible if paid top result ads were included in that position. Does anyone know?

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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As far as I know, the Avg. Position means the average position in Google's (non-advertising) search results for that specific term and has nothing to do with Google's advertising.

The reason that your company might not be number one might have something to do with, e.g. image searches. If I type in a term which I know my website is consistently number one on Google for web searches (you can check the position doesn't depend on location or being logged in e.g. by using Scroogle to see what other people might get), it shows it as Avg. Position 5.7 if I include image searches with "All", but number 1.6 Avg. Position if I only choose "Web". So you might need to narrow it down by choosing "Web" under the "top queries" box.

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Yeah, it's really useful to be able to optimize for terms popular in other countries and search types. I think all the best webmasters must be obsessive information junkies :) –  JasonBirch Jul 14 '10 at 5:40
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When you search for your company make sure to search from a browser you never use (not logged into google). Google does personalized search results so sites you frequent will rank higher for you then for others. This also goes the same for location.

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You can just log out or clear cookies as well. –  delete Jul 14 '10 at 22:32
    
+1 I noticed this too. –  Marco Demaio Aug 15 '10 at 0:07
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The average position is from organic results only. Also note that the data is global - searches from different countries are likely to return different results, especially if your company name is a standard word or phrase, like "Apple". And as Kinopiko says, image results are also included.

Searches may also include personalised results - if a user searched your company name and kept clicking the second result, Google may choose to put that page above yours for that user.

If you expand the query in Webmaster Tools it will show you the number of impressions for each search position - you can "verify" the average if you like.

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Interesting on the verify ability on Webmaster, I didn't know about that. –  RandomBen Jul 14 '10 at 12:15
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protected by John Conde Oct 1 '12 at 1:48

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