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Google Defines Search Analytics Impressions, Position, and Clicks in New Help Document

Understanding your Search Analytics reports just got a lot easier.

Google has released a help document called “What are impressions, position, and clicks?” The document provides details on the three core metrics found in Search Analytics.

Before, it was kind of a guessing game for figuring out what recorded an impression, or what exactly counted as a click. But now, we’ll all be able to make more educated observations on how visitors are interacting with our sites in the search results.

If you are fastidious about providing informative monthly reports, the information in this document can help you show your clients’ SEO campaigns are bearing fruit.

Here are some important takeaways from the document:

What are impressions?

For elements with more than one URL, impressions can be counted by site or page.

What is search results position?

Calculating your position means navigating the various search results elements on the SERPs. There are the typical 10 blue links, article carousels, Knowledge Graph cards, and much more.

This graph shows how a Search Results page may be laid out and how Position is calculated for each Search Element.

This graph shows how a Search Results page may be laid out and how Position is calculated for each Search Element.

The document also shows examples of how to better understand position value.

What is a click?

Impressions, Position, and Clicks by Search Element

Impressions, Position, and Clicks all vary depending on the type of Search Element they’re viewed on. For example, for an AMP page, clicking an AMP page in the carousel = 1 click. Viewing the page in the AMP viewer = 1 click, 1 impression, but an impression can be counted simply for being visible in the carousel.

This is all highly detailed and useful information for understanding and defining what counts as Impressions, Position, and Clicks. Use it to make your Analytics reporting more substantial, or to adjust your clients’ SEO campaigns back on the right track.

Please note: the document has a disclaimer that states “the heuristics here… are subject to change.” Meaning the definitions it provides could change. We’ll keep this page updated, so bookmark it to make sure you don’t miss out on anything crucial.

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