Getting a crystal clear definition isn’t typically a day maker, but Google just released a new help document that did just that and it certainly put a smile on our faces. As a Tulsa SEO company we work in an industry with a lot of grey, so getting black and white definitions is like a little piece of mana from heaven.
In this help doc Google defines what counts as a click, impression, and position (among a few other things) in a Search Analytics report.
As you might have guessed, anytime a user clicks on a URL that takes them out of Google’s search console it counts as a click. One point of distinction to make here is that if the user clicks on a URL, goes to the page, then quickly goes back to the SERP, and then clicks on the same URL again, it only counts as one click.
The landing page the user ultimately goes to is the page that will be credited with a click. This means if there’s a 301 redirect to another page, the original page will not be credited with a click.
An impression is counted anytime a URL is displayed on the SERP for a giving search. Whether the user actually scrolls down to see the URL depends on the search element, meaning it’s possible to get an impression without the user actually seeing the URL in the SERP.
Now for the big one. Google defines position as where the URL is on the SERP from top to bottom. This sounds straightforward, but when you throw in Knowledge Graphs, carousels, AMPs, and other search elements it’s not as easy as counting 1, 2, 3. The number reflected in the Search Analytics report will depend on what kind of search is normally performed to find your keyword.
These definitions aren’t groundbreaking news, but it does help clear a few things up for Tulsa SEO companies like us. Knowing things like this adds to our ability to interpret analytics reports and better gauge how our SEO campaigns are doing.