The Google Search Console is one of the most important sources of information for your website. Once you connect the Search Console with your website, it will show you a wealth of information, including all these things:
- how often Google offers your website to searchers
- which keywords people used to find you
- your average position in search results for those keywords
- whether your website has been hacked
- any penalties Google has applied to your website
- how many pages of your website have been indexed
And much more.
Changes at the Google Search Console
However, if you look at the Console now, you will see some changes. You might not like them. The green line on the chart below shows this website’s average position. It looks as though the position has fallen significantly, beginning right at the point where it says “Note.”
Your natural reaction may be to make changes at your website to fix the problem… or at least to call your SEO company and demand an explanation. But it may not actually be a problem.
There has been a change in the technology.
Here’s how Google puts it:
An incremental improvement in Google’s logging system now provides better accounting for results in lower positions. This change might cause increase in impressions, but also a decrease in average positions. This change only affects Search Console reporting, not your actual performance on Google Search.
The most important part here is that the change does not affect “your actual performance on Google Search.”
Some of our clients are seeing the drop in average position visible in the chart above. Some are not. It doesn’t correlate with their traffic or other results.
What should you do about the change?
Nothing. Recognize that it will be harder for you to compare your rankings for favorite keywords for a while, and move on. Google made the change for the sake of greater accuracy, and that benefits those of us who use the tool… in the long run. In the short run, don’t introduce problems by overreacting.
Making changes based on this data would be an error.