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In google search console, for my website, when the number of impressions increased (red trend in google search console), then the ranking in google search decreased (green trend in google search console aka "position"). Then, when the number of impressions decreased, then the ranking in google search console increased.enter image description here I thought that when my website links are displayed in google search at a better position, there should be more impressions because users don't click to visit subsequent google pages. They usually click on the links on the first page.

As you can see at the end of the trend, the impressions increased by at least 3000 and meanwhile the average position lowered by at least 20 and vice versa.

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  • It seems to me that these metrics do not correlate directly. Not unless you are within the top 10 consistently. Then I can see your argument. Otherwise, I would expect the effect you are expecting to be small and possibly imperceptible.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 15:39
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    It looks to me like the green line is inverted on the graph. . Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 16:03
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    If you mouse over the line, what values does it report for individual points? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 20:24
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    If you search for that term today, does it match the most recent position reported on the graph? Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 20:28
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    @StephenOstermiller I have done the first 50 keywords, and the position vs impressions are correct. I have tested some of them in google search and the position always matches with the result per keyword in google search console. It looks like the problem comes from the global trends in google search console. They don't match with the results per keyword. In other words, the average position isn't good. The average number of impressions is wrong. I trusted google too much. i have sent a feedback to Google. will see. thks. Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 20:39

6 Answers 6

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This is a typical CTR issue! From the same place in Search Console enable the CTR as well!

Google pays much much interest on CTR. You might have a lot of impressions, but a few clicks, because Google thinks that your CTR is low, which means that users are more likely not to click on your page!

Try optimizing your titles and description to achieve better CTR. Make it both human and robot friendly, engaging, etc.. Read a little bit about how to optimize your CTR.

Thank you! Gev.

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Could be that you've started ranking for new keywords for some reason (for example, if you added new content or changed titles). If these new keywords are lower ranked than your average (at least initially), your average ranking would go down even if the number of impressions increases.

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Increase in impressions corresponding to a decrease in position can mean two things: There might have been a spike in impressions for your lower ranked (lesser spotted) keywords, increasing impressions but lowering the average rank for the day...or...There's an authority 'cap' on your site, meaning as impressions for keywords peak, their value outstrips your authority to rank (theoretical) so you get bumped down until the rush dies off a bit. We've seen this ourselves, frequently, but not as intense as yours.

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increase in impressions while the decrease in clicks happens when your title is not enticing or convincing enough for users to click. If Google is not rewriting your titles and showing them as they are, it's best experimenting with a few to check what works better. Also, review the title for your competitors which are ranking high to get an idea. Read HTML Title Tags

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    "decrease in clicks" - Although that is not what the question is asking. The OP is seeing a decrease in "ranking position", not necessarily "clicks" (that is not mentioned).
    – MrWhite
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 12:44
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You've grown a longer tail. That is, your keyword search-ranking distribution has grown a longer tail. For some reason, Google has thrown your url onto the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. result pages on some keywords where previously you were unranked.

Imagine the keyword "spelunk." A week ago you were ranked #200 on "spelunk" and got zero impressions or clicks from it, and you were below the #100 threshold where Google stops counting it towards position rankings.

Today for some reason you jumped to #65 on spelunk. This got you 10 impressions from avid spelunkers. However you got no clicks. The result:

  • Your overall position average dropped, dragged down by that #65 ranking.
  • Your impressions went up by 10.
  • Your clicks were unchanged.
  • Your CTR dropped, since you added 10 impressions and 0 clicks (CTR is just clicks/impressions).

Whenever you see position and clickthrough going in the opposite direction, something like this must be happening.

I can think of two possible reasons for it: 1) google is doing experiments by testing you on some new keywords or 2) a bunch of people are suddenly searching on a bunch of novel terms where you happen to rank.

The number of terms required for #2 to make much difference makes me think #1 is the likely answer.

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  • An important thing to remember is that the keyword list on the search console truncates at 1,000, but the stats are gathered from every time your url shows up in someone's search results, so there can be many more than 1,000 keywords that return your url. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 21:16
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I have done regression analysis for daily data on four different pages and by all pages for all the time they existed between position and impression. All but one of them resulted in no statistically significant correlation between positions and impressions, even when testing several different forms of data transformation So this problem is not just the results. So I think that the problem mentioned by the question is broader than what he posted. And the answer right above this one is too narrow to explain it.

To me this remains a mystery. It seems that Google is controlling the impressions independently of the positions. And the only way I can think that they can do that is by the statement above: "here's an authority 'cap' on your site, meaning as impressions for keywords peak, their value outstrips your authority to rank (theoretical) so you get bumped down until the rush dies off a bit." But I don't think we have the answer to this question nailed down.

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