Performance report

The Performance report shows important metrics about how your site performs in Google Search results: how often it comes up; average position in search results; click through rate; and any special features (such as rich results) associated with your results. Use this information 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.

 

OPEN THE PERFORMANCE REPORT

How to read the report

The default view of the report shows the click count on your pages in Google Search results for the past three months.

  • Choose which metrics to see (clicks, impressions, and so on) by selecting one or more metrics to show in the report. See Metric types.
  • Change how data are grouped (by query, page, country, and so on) by selecting a grouping property tab. See Reading the table.
  • Filter your data by clicking "Add new" as described in Filtering your data.
  • Compare groups (for example, compare clicks from Brazil to clicks from China) by clicking the Compare button. You can compare values in only one grouping dimension (query, page, and so on). See Comparing your data.

 

Sharing the report

You can share issue details by clicking the Share button on the page. This link grants access only to the current page, plus any validation history pages for this issue, to anyone with the link. It does not grant access to other pages for your resource, or enable the shared user to perform any actions on your property or account. You can revoke the link at any time by disabling sharing for this page.

 

Reading the chart

The chart shows total clicks, total impressions, average CTR (click through rate), and average position for your entire site. All data on the chart is aggregated by site. See "Understand the metrics" for explanations of these metric types and how they are calculated.

Reading the table

The table shows data grouped by the selected tab. Click a grouping tab to change how your your data is grouped. Here more information about each grouping type:

Queries

Group results by query strings that users searched for on Google. Only searches that returned your site will be included.

Very rare queries (called anonymous queries) are not shown in these results to protect the privacy of the user making the query.

When you add any kind of query filter (for example, "Queries containing" or "Queries not containing"), all anonymous queries are omitted from the chart totals and the table. This is because we don't apply filters to anonymous queries.

Common uses:

  • 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  titles and snippets to satisfy your user’s interests.
  • Find branded or not-branded query totals. You might want to see how many queries show your site when the user does or doesn't include a specific string, such as a brand name. Because anonymous queries can't be counted, you'll need to determine if your site has a lot of anonymous queries.
    To estimate branded/non-branded queries:
    1. Get click/impression totals without applying any query filters. These totals include both anonymous and non-anonymous queries.
    2. Add filters for the desired query string. Use "Queries containing" for branded queries, "Queries not containing" for unbranded queries. Try any variant spellings of your query string, for example: "gray boots", "grey boots", "grayboots". The totals you see don't include anonymous queries. Add up these totals.
    3. Get a count of anonymous queries. Add a "Queries not containing" filter with a long nonsense string that is unlikely to be matched. Subtract this total, which doesn't include anonymous queries, from the total in step 1, which includes anonymous queries. The result is your approximate anonymous query total.
      1. If the proportion of anonymous queries is small compared to your total queries (step 1), you can ignore them and use your values from step 2. No need to read any further.
      2. If the proportion of anonymous queries is significant compared to your total queries (step 1), you can either estimate how many of the anonymous queries match your criteria (described next) or else omit the anonymous queries entirely.
    4. Estimate how many anonymous queries match your criteria. One approach is to assume the same proportion of branded queries in both the anonymous and non-anonymous queries. Beware that this is just an estimate.
      1. Get a count of non-anonymous queries: filter by "Query not containing:<long_random_string>"
      2. Calculate the proportion:
        Matching queries (step 2) / All non-anonymous queries (step 4.a)
      3. If your brand has many possible associated variations, such as a travel provider that offers information about many different cities, countries, and hotels, you  might want to bump up the proportion.
      4. Multiply your proportion (step 4.b) against the count of anonymous queries (step 3).  Increase or decrease this proportion, according to the specifics of your brand and users.
    5. Add your estimated anonymous query total (step 4) to your totals from step 2. Remember that this is just a guess; we currently don't have a way right now to examine anonymous queries.
Pages
Group results by individual page on your property that were returned by search results. Grouping by page will provide data by page rather than by site in the table only; the graph will still aggregate by site.
Countries

Group results by the country where the search came from; for example, Canada or Mexico.

Note that the country filter is limited to the top 20 countries driving traffic to 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.

Devices
Group results by the device making the search; for example, desktop, tablet, or mobile. If you have separate mobile and desktop sites, for example m.example.com and www.example.com, the metrics for each site will be shown in a separate report for each property. If you don't have a separate mobile version of your website—for example, you dynamically detect the user agent and adjust the site layout accordingly in a single site—you must group by device to compare the clicks and impressions you get from mobile devices compared to clicks and impressions from desktop users.
Search Type

Filter or compare by search type, which is the type of Google search run by the user: web search (the default 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.

Data is stored separately by search type

For a given URL, all click, impression, and position data is stored separately for each search type. So, for instance, an image can appear in both web results and image results, but the click, impression, and position data for that image are recorded separately for web searches and image searches.

As an example, given an image hosted on the page example.com/aboutme.html, you might have this data:

Search type Impressions Clicks Position
Image 20 10 23
Web 30 30   7

 

Search Appearance [Not always shown]
The Search Appearance option appears only if there are impressions for at least one search result feature listed here. Otherwise this grouping option will not be visible.


Group results by special search result feature: for example, results containing a job posting rich result, or results appearing in an AMP page.

Group or filter by search appearance feature:

More information

Grouping or filtering by search appearance will aggregate data by page rather than by property in the table only; data in the graph will still be grouped by site.

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).

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.

 

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 like this:

Country USA clicks UK clicks
USA               1,000 0
UK 0           1,000

This table provides no information that the graph doesn't already show, so it is omitted.

Understanding the metrics

The following metrics are available:

  • Clicks - Count of clicks from a Google search result that landed the user on your property. Learn more.
  • Impressions - How many links to your site a user saw on Google search results. Impressions are counted when the user visits that page of results, even if the result was not scrolled into view. However, if a user views only page 1 but the result is on page 2, the impression is not counted. The count is aggregated by site or page. Note that infinitely scrolling result pages (image search) the impression might require the item to be scrolled into view. Learn more.
  • 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.
  • Average 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. Learn more.
  • Position [Only in the table] - The position value in the table represents the average position in search results for the item in that specific row. For example, when grouping by query, the position is the average position for the given query in search results. See the average position above to learn how the value is calculated.

Note that if you filter by query, all anonymous queries will be omitted from the results. If your site has a significant number of anonymous queries, you may see a significant discrepancy between the filtered and unfiltered results, because the total of (Queries containing: some_string) + (Queries not containing: some_string) is less than the click/impression totals on the chart, because the anonymous queries will have been omitted.

About the totals

The totals for each metric are shown on the chart. Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • The chart totals can be greater than the table totals, because the table can show a maximum of 1,000 rows.
  • When you filter or group by either URL or query, the individual filtered totals might not add up to the unfiltered total. For example, adding the totals for "Queries containing:mouse" and "Queries not containing:mouse" might not equal the total values when no query filters are applied. This is because anonymous queries are omitted, and data is truncated due to serving limitations.

Filtering your data

You can filter data by multiple dimensions. For example, if you are currently grouping data by query, you can add the filters "country='USA' AND device='Mobile'".

To add a filter:

  • Click the + NEW label next to the existing type and date filters on the page.

To clear a filter:

  • Click the X next to an existing filter. You cannot clear the search type or date filters.

To modify a filter:

  • Click the filter and reset the values.

Filtering your data by query or URL can affect the totals.

Comparing data trends

You can compare data between two exact values in any one grouping dimension, 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. 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 change from the previous week.
  • 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).
You can compare data in only one dimension at a time (Dates, Queries, and so on). Adding a new comparison in another grouping dimension will remove the existing comparison. For example, if you are comparing clicks for this week versus last week (Date), then add a comparison between US and Japan (Country), the date range will reset to the default.

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 dimensions.

About the data

Search analytics counts data independently for each unique property. That is, data are counted separately for each of the following destinations:

  • https://example.com
  • http://example.com
  • http://m.example.com

How are clicks, impressions, and position calculated?

Read details about how clicks, impressions, and position are counted and calculated here

Data discrepancies

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.
  • Some tools, such as Google Analytics, track traffic only from users who have enabled JavaScript in their browser.
  • 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.

Aggregating data by site vs by page

All data on the chart is aggregated by site. All data in the table is aggregated by site except when grouped by page or site appearance.

When aggregating data by site, the site credited with the data is the actual target of the search results link, which might not be the same as the displayed URL, as determined by Google's skip redirect behavior.

  • 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.
  • For click through rate, 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
  1. www.petstore.example.com/monkeys
  2. www.petstore.example.com/ponies
  3. www.petstore.example.com/unicorns

Click-through rate: 100%
All clicks for a site are combined

Click-through rate: 33%
3 pages shown, 1/3 of clicks to each page

Average position: 1
Highest position from the site in the results
Average position: 2
(1 + 2 + 3) / 3 = 2

 

Known issues

The following are known issues in this beta version of the new Search Console. No need to report them to us, but we'd love your feedback on any other features or issues you spot. Use the Feedback mechanism built into the report in the navigation bar.

  • The graph now only shows data aggregated by site, never by URL. (This is a feature!)
  • The mobile experience is still a work in progress.
  • Property sets are not yet supported.
  • This report does not yet show data for Android apps.

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