Search Analytics Report
The Search Analytics Report shows how often your site appears in Google search results. Filter and group data by categories such as search query, date, or device. Use the results to improve your site’s search performance, for example:
- See how your search traffic changes over time, where it’s coming from, and what search queries are most likely to show your site.
- Learn which queries are made on smartphones, and use this to improve your mobile targeting.
- See which pages have the highest (and lowest) click-through rate from Google search results.
How to read the report
The default view of the report shows your site’s click count coming from Google search results for the past four weeks.
- To change the metrics shown, select one or more metric checkboxes, such as clicks or impressions, at the top of the report. See Choosing which metrics to display.
- To change how data are grouped, select a grouping property, such as Queries, or Pages. See Grouping your data.
- To filter your data, select the filter dropdown below the group type as described in Filtering your data.
- To compare different group values (for example, to compare clicks from Brazil to clicks from China), choose Compare in the dropdown under a grouping selection. You can compare values in one grouping category at a time. See Comparing your data.
The following metrics are available:
- Clicks - Count of clicks from a Google search results page that landed the user on your property.
- Impressions - How many links to your site a user saw on Google search results, even if the link was not scrolled into view. However, if a user views only page 1 and the link is on page 2, the impression is not counted. The count is aggregated by site or page. With infinitely scrolling pages, such as image search, the impression might require the item to be scrolled into view.
- CTR - Click-through rate: the click count divided by the impression count. If a row of data has no impressions, the CTR will be shown as a dash (-) because CTR would be division by zero.
- Position - The average position of the topmost result from your site. So, for example, if your site has three results at positions 2, 4, and 6, the position is reported as 2. If a second query returned results at positions 3, 5, and 9, your average position would be (2 + 3)/2 = 2.5. If a row of data has no impressions, the position will be shown as a dash (-), because the position doesn't exist.
Clicks, impressions, position, and CTR values change depending on whether you aggregate results by site or page.
Change how your data are grouped in the table by selecting a grouping category at the top of the report; for example, choose "Queries" to group data by search query terms, or "Pages" to group by the canonical page returned by search results.Query
Group results by query strings that users searched for on Google. Only searches that returned your site will be included. Very rare queries are not shown in these results to protect the privacy of the user making the query.
- Review the Query list for expected keywords. If keywords that you expect to see don't appear, your site might not have enough useful content relevant to those keywords. If unexpected words (like "Viagra" or "casino") appear, it's likely that your site has been hacked.
- Find queries with high impressions and low CTR. These queries can help identify where you can improve your content to satisfy your user’s interests.
Group results by the country where the search came from; for example, Canada or Mexico.
Note that the country filter is limited to the countries with the top 20 impressions for your property. If you need to filter by a country not on the dropdown list, group your query by countries, then click the row of the country that you want, which will filter results by that country.
Filter or compare by search type, which is the type of Google search run by the user: web search (the default combined search results), image search, video search, and so on.
Grouping by search type is not supported because the results page layout is very different for different search types. For example, position 30 in image search results might be on the first result page, but position 30 in web search would be on page three.
Group results by special search result feature: for example, results containing an "install app" button, or results appearing in an AMP page.
Group or filter by the following search appearance features:
- Search result link - Any result link that is not an "install app" button.
- Install app button - A button that offers the user the option to install an app on the device. This feature appears in the results page on a device where at least one result is an app page in an app not installed on the device. You should never get both search result links and app install buttons in the same query on the same device.
- AMP - AMP results, whether embedded in a gallery or as simple search result links.
- Rich result - A rich card or rich snippet feature (breadcrumbs, stars, and so on), defined in structured data.
Grouping or filtering by search appearance will aggregate data by page rather than by property.
The filter feature list only shows filter options for which you have impressions; if you have no AMP results, you will not see AMP in the filter list.
The same page can have multiple search appearance features in a single query, but only one impression is counted for each feature type. For example, a page can have both a rich result and a search result link in one query.
Filtered click counts
If you filter by search result feature, it is not guaranteed that all clicks for a given URL were on a link of that filtered feature type; however it is guaranteed that the user saw a link with this URL and feature in the same set of results where she clicked a link with that URL. This is because clicks are assigned to a URL, not to a (URL + feature).
The only exception is when filtering by install app button, because if an app is not installed on a device, the only result link for the app will be an app install link.
For example: A user searches Google for "monkey pants" and the results show both a standard result link and an AMP link pointing to the same page on Larry's House of Monkey Pants. A click on either link will count toward the same URL, of course. The next day, Larry (owner, proprieter, and webmaster of Larry's Warehouse of Monkey Pants) opens Search Analytics for his site, groups results by page, filters by AMP feature, and sees that URL listed with 1 click, no matter whether the user clicked the AMP link or the standard link.
You can filter data in multiple categories. For example, if you are currently grouping data by query, you can add the filters "country='USA' AND device='Mobile'".
- Filtering by page or search appearance can change the metric calculation for CTR, impressions, and clicks.
- If you can no longer see a search query that you saw recently, check that you haven't added a filter that hides the results.
To add a filter:
- Click the dropdown under a category to specify a filter,
- Click a row on the table below the chart to filter by the selected grouping value.
To clear a filter:
- Click the appropriate filter dropdown under the category chooser and select Reset.
- Click the X next to the filter.
The countries filter dropdown is limited to the countries with the top 20 impressions for your property; to filter by a country not on the list, group results by country and click the row for the country to filter by.
You can compare data between two exact values in any one grouping category, whether or not it is the currently selected grouping. For example, when grouped by Query you can compare clicks between this week and last week, or between clicks from USA and France. Comparing by page or search appearance can change the metric calculation for CTR, impressions, and clicks. Choose a comparison using the dropdown below a grouping category. When comparing values for a single metric, the results table will display a difference column to compare values in each row.
Some useful comparisons:
- Sort by difference to see queries with significant new activity.
- Compare total searches on your mobile site to mobile searches on your desktop site. If you have both mobile and non-mobile versions of your site (m.example.com and www.example.com), and your sites are configured correctly, you should see many more mobile searches on your mobile site. Open a separate Search Analytics report for each site and compare searches from mobile devices on your desktop site (www.example.com) to all searches on your mobile site (m.example.com).
If you compare two groups, and a value is very rare in one group but not rare in the other group, the rare group will show ~ for that row to indicate that the number is not available. For example, if you compare query impressions between Germany and Thailand, the result row for "Deutsche Bundesbank" will probably show an impression number for Germany, and a ~ (not available) for Thailand. This is because the impression count for Thailand is at the end of a very long tail of results. It does not necessarily mean zero, but it is far down the list for that group. However, if you filter by the rare value (in this example "Deutsche Bundesbank"), you should see data values for both categories.
The totals for each metric are shown on the page. Note that these totals might be larger than the totaled values in the table, because long tables can be truncated at the bottom to conserve space.
The data in the chart is also represented in tabular form on the page. This table holds a maximum of 1,000 rows; additional data is truncated for space reasons. In addition, very rare queries will be omitted for user privacy reasons.
Why did the report table disappear?
In certain cases where the table does not add any additional information to the chart, the table is omitted from the report. For example, if you show click counts in a table grouped by country, and compare USA to UK, you would get a table something like this:
|USA clicks||UK clicks|
This table provides no new information to the user, and so it is omitted.
Search analytics counts data independently for each unique property. That is, data are counted separately for each of the following destinations:
Search Console data can differ slightly from the data displayed in other tools. Possible reasons for this include the following:
- To protect user privacy, Search Analytics doesn't show all data. For example, we might not track some queries that are made a very small number of times or those that contain personal or sensitive information.
- Some processing of our source data might cause these stats to differ from stats listed in other sources (for example, to eliminate duplicates and visits from robots). However, these changes should not be significant.
- Some tools define "keywords" differently. For example, the Keywords tool in Google AdWords displays the total number of Google searches for that keyword across the web. Search Analytics shows only those keyword searches that returned your pages in Google search results.
- There can be a lag between when the numbers are calculated and when they are visible to webmasters. Although data gets published in intervals, we continually collect it. Normally, however, collected data should be available in 2-3 days.
- Time zones matter. Search Analytics tracks daily data according to Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). If your other systems use different time zones, your daily views may not match exactly. For example, Google Analytics shows time in the webmaster’s local time zone.
- Downloaded data unavailable/not a number values. If you download the data in the report, any values shown as ~ or - (not available/not a number) on the report will be zeros in the downloaded data.
Comparison with old Search Queries Report data
Data in the Search Analytics report is much more accurate than data in the older Search Queries report, and it is calculated differently. Here is a summary of the differences:
- Individual page impression counts merged. The old Search Queries report counts every single page in the search results as an impression; the new Search Analytics report counts all links to the same site as a single impression (unless you group, filter, or compare by page or search appearance).
- Search properties and devices separated. The old Search Queries report has an option to filter by Web, Image, Mobile and Video, where Mobile means web searches from a mobile device. Mobile and desktop search metrics were combined for both images and videos. In the new Search Analytics report, the device type and the search type are separate.
- Coverage and partial counts differ. The old Search Queries report and the Search Analytics report have different thresholds for how much data to store. This means that data coverage might not be the same for both reports, and summed values might be different between the two reports.
- Image click count reduced. The new Search Analytics report counts only clicks on an expanded image (or on the "visit page" link) in an Image Search result that points to your page. The older Search Queries report counted any click on an image, expanded or not, in both Web Search and Image Search. This means that the click count will be lower, but more meaningful, in this new report.
- Data consolidated by full domain. If you own multiple hosts in a domain (for example, www.example.com and example.com), you might see your click and impression counts drop for each host. Why? The old Search Queries report often assigned click, impression, or other data by domain name, where a domain might span multiple hosts. So, for example, a click on a link to www.example.com might be counted for both www.example.com and example.com accounts. In order to avoid this double counting, the new Search Analytics report now assigns all click, impression, and other search data to a single, complete host name. So, for example, a click or impression on www.example.com will only be counted toward www.example.com, and not to m.example.com, example.com, or any other variations. As a result, you might see lower totals for a specific account, but this does not reflect changed search traffic or user behavior, only an accounting change that ensures more accurate information for each account.
What counts as a click?
Clicks are only counted when they direct the user to your property; clicks are not counted when they redirect within search results. For example:
- Clicking an image in web search results is not counted as a click; image clicks are only counted when the click leads to the site (for example, clicking the image or the "visit page" link within Image Search). Clicking an image in Web Search typically jumps the user to Image Search with the clicked image expanded, which is not counted as a click.
- Clicks that lead to other in-search features such as most knowledge graph clicks aren’t counted in the report.
- The URL that Google displays in search results might be different from the actual URL of the link. For example, if a site has a desktop page
example.com/mypagewith a mobile-friendly version at
m.example.com/mypage(perhaps indicated by a
rel=”alternate”tag), the desktop URL
example.com/mypagemight be displayed in search results for both desktop and mobile searches, but the underlying link will be different, depending on whether the search is from a desktop or mobile device. On a desktop, the link will point to the desktop page; On a mobile device, the link will point to the mobile page, which is called a skip redirect. The impression and click is counted toward the true target of the link, either the desktop or the mobile page.
- For an app property, an impression or a click is only counted towards your property if the displayed result link opens your app on the user's device; it is not counted if the displayed link points to the website, or to an "install the app" result.
If you group, filter, or compare by page or search appearance, all metrics in the report are aggregated by page; otherwise, all metrics are aggregated by site.
- For impressions, if a site appears twice on a search results page when aggregating by site, it counts as a single impression; if grouping by page or search appearance, each unique page is counted separately.
- For clicks, if a site appears twice in search results when grouped by site, and the user clicks on one link, backs up, then clicks the other link, it counts as a single click, since the final destination is the same site.
- For position, when aggregating by site, the topmost position of your property in search results is reported; when grouped by page or search appearance, the topmost position of the page in search results is reported.
When aggregating data by site, the site is the true target of the search results link, which might not be the same as the displayed URL, as determined by Google's skip redirect behavior.
Because of the different accounting methods, the click-through rate and average position are higher when aggregating by site if multiple pages from the same site appear in the search results. For example, imagine that search results for "fun pets for children" returns only the following three results, all from the same site, and that users click each of them with equal frequency:
|Google Search Results||Metrics Aggregated by Site||Metrics Aggregated by Page|
Click-through rate: 100%
Click-through rate: 33%
|Average position: 1
Highest position from the site in the results
|Average position: 2
(1 + 2 + 3) / 3 = 2