How accurate is Google Search Console’s Average Position Metric?

Search Console’s search success report : 

In the Search Console’s search success report, Google discusses how accurate the average location metric is.these metrics will help you understand how a change in the position of your ads on the search result page affects your click-through rate (CTR).

We don’t suggest using these metrics as a benchmark for setting your bids because they can often fall as bids rise. this occurs because higher bids can enable you to participate in more favorable auctions in a less desirable location.If you want to increase the percentage of your ads that appear at the top or absolute top of the search results page, you can use these metrics as a target to set your bid.

John Mueller of Google:

John Mueller of Google responds to a query about the accuracy of the average position metric used in Search Console’s search success study.The latest installment of the Ask Googlebot video series on the Google Search Central YouTube channel answers this query.

Mueller explains that the average location metric is based on real-world results. It’s a credible metric, even though it doesn’t always correspond to what site owners see when they look at their own rankings.the full response from Mueller can be found below.

On the Average Position Metric, according to Google’s John Mueller:

To begin, Mueller clarifies that the average position metric is not theoretical. Average position, like all other metrics in the search performance study, is calculated using data from real search results:“The information in the Search Console search success report is based on actual search results that users saw. It’s not a statistical figure; rather, it’s a figure based on actual data.”

Google Search Console:

To measure data for the search success study, Google Search Console monitors the average top location of a URL. If several URLs from a website appear in search results, Search Console can calculate the average using the highest ranking URL.

When a site owner looks up their own rankings in Google, the average place listed in Search Console can vary from what they see when they look up their own rankings in Google. this may be due to factors like personalization or geo-targeting, according to Mueller.

Average top position: 

“The average location is determined by a URL from your site’s average top position. We’ll use the topmost URL from your website that appears in the search results page for this average if there are several URLs from your website that appear in the search results page.

When you search yourself, you might not always see the same thing. This is usually due to personalization, geo-targeting, or search exposure that is only present for a brief period of time.if you see a number of impressions that is slightly smaller than what you’d expect for such queries, you might often assume that this is what’s going on. This is generally an indication that your site was only available for a small portion of the total impressions.”

Google Images alongside regular search results:

Finally, Mueller recently warned website owners to bear in mind that their URLs can appear in Google Images alongside regular search results. When calculating the average position, those ranking positions are taken into account.

“When it comes to web results, bear in mind that your site will also appear in the images section of the regular search results. In short, the search success report’s average location and other metrics are based on actual search results, but actual search results can be very varied.”

Google Search Console support page:

The average location is determined using the topmost link to a page in search results, according to a Google Search Console support page:

  • Your property’s location is counted as 2 if one question returned it at positions 2, 4, and 6. (the topmost position).
  • Your property’s location is counted as 3 if a second question returned it at positions 3, 5, and 9. (the topmost position).
  • (2 + 3)/2 = 2.5 is the average location of these two queries.

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