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Webmaster tools question... re: average position accuracy??

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by billsfan2012, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. billsfan2012

    billsfan2012 Regular Member

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    Hope I placed this in the right forum...

    I was looking at 1 of my more successful adult sites on Webmaster tools today and noticed something that I've actually noticed many times, and has always confused me

    Under Traffic > Search queries

    you obviously get a list of key phrases, impressions, clicks, and average position

    My question relates to this average position

    My main keyword always shows an average position somewhere between 5 and 10... right now its 9.1.

    But what does that even MEAN???

    I would think it means, "on average, your site appears 9th in the search results". But in reality, my site has NEVER appeared in the top 10 for that search query,

    so WTF g00gz? How do I interpret this stat?
     
  2. Endire

    Endire Elite Member Premium Member

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    Billsfan2012,

    In my experience, the average position in webmaster tools is not the best metric to use. Google uses data from all searches which may include users who are logged in, logged out, participating in Google Plus (hence being served personalized results) among a variety of other factors. Further, the data is only a snapshot of the past 90 days.

    I would use third party software to determine your ranking for any given keyterms.

    Here is Google's take on it,

    http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35252

    Hope that helps,

    Shawn
     
  3. bananapoison

    bananapoison Registered Member

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    Totally agree. The average position is not very accurate. That's because Google tries to anonymize the data so the keywords being reported on are broad match. They combine data from dozens of different phrases being searched.

    Use SEOBook's Rank Checker for Mozilla. It's the best - it supports multiple keywords too.
     
  4. blackberry

    blackberry Power Member

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    Also google takes your adwords positions for the keyword, and averages them out with your organic search positions, so no its not accurate at all.

    Use something like Microsite masters for proper keyword position tracking.