What is Google Search Console?
In short, Google Search Console helps you monitor site standings in Google Search results. It helps you understand the performance and the presence of your site or a client’s site on the web. Although Search Console provides a large amount of information, it is important to stay up-to-date with changes occurring in Search Console to ensure you are reviewing and using the data correctly. A key aspect that I will be touching on is the ability to monitor and review search queries.
I will highlight one example from July that shows how important it is to read the notes put in Search Console to make sure you understand the data being displayed. In Mid-July, Google Search Console announced changes to the logging system to account for more detailed tracking for terms in lower ranking positions. Here is what you need to know when looking at data for the past few months.
New Logging System
When the new logging system was implemented, it led to changes in the average position for sites. The image provided below shows the total impressions in red and the average position in green. Things were mostly steady then there was a drastic increase in impressions and drop in position. This is when the new logging system was implemented as indicated by the line that says ‘note’.
This makes the data look like there is bot or spam traffic coming to the site. As you can see in the image, the impressions and average positions are beginning to normalize the closer to the current date you get. Now that you are aware of what is occurring, you know that this is due to the new logging system and it is not something you should be concerned about. As mentioned in the note by Google Search Console for July 14th onward “This change only affects Search Console reporting, not your actual performance on Google Search.”
Benefit of New System
This new logging system will help provide greater insight into lower-ranking terms. Although it is typically the top-ranking terms that are being monitored, understanding the trends and position of lower ranking terms can be just as important. These terms can help provide areas for expansion, ways to increase term usage to drive traffic, or general insight into how the terms have progressed over time.
When using Google Search Console, remember to keep this in mind. While the spike in impressions and drop in average position are still being displayed in your view, the overall numbers may seem off compared to other time frames. Always read the notes that Google Search Console puts into place to help you understand what changes are being made and how this may affect the data. This will keep you informed and aware of the changes occurring to use Google Search Console to its full potential.
Google Search Console Note Link