Google Webmaster Impressions and Clicks

Posted by EssexMax on 25 January 2012 under Search Engine | Be the First to Comment

When running one of our recent Search Engine Optimisation courses, there was some confusion about the terms Impressions, Clicks, CTR and Ave. Position as seen in the Google Webmaster Tools view. To help make it clear, we’ve put together this quick guide:

Google Webmaster Search Queries

Google supplies some information to webmasters explaining how well (or badly) a webmaster’s search phrases are performing.

In Google Webmaster tools, this is under the “Your site on the web” menu option as “Search queries”. Here’s a screenshot of what’s shown:

Search Query Stats in Google Webmaster Tools

Search Query Stats in Google Webmaster Tools

For each of the search phrases shown in the above screenshot, there are eight items in the column. Let’s take a closer look:


This is the number of times that Google has displayed a link to your site in response to some searching using that key phrase.

As an example, if I search the phrase “Essex Max”, Google returns a page of results, including one for this site. The entry for this site is one Google impression – i.e. for that search term, Google has displayed a link to me once. Here’s a screenshot:

Example of a Google impression

An example of an "impression" on Google's Search Engine


In the above example, you should be able to see a single impression. Just because Google has shown an entry in its search results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person doing the searching will actually click on it.

Google Webmaster tools shows you how many times your site was shown for a given search (“impressions”) and how many times it was clicked (“clicks”)


This stands for Click Through Rate, and is expressed as a percentage. If your site is seen 100 times (impressions), but only clicked on 10 times, that would be 1/10, or 10%.

The higher the CTR, the better. A poor CTR could indicate that the entry is very low down the results, or the META tags for that page are not doing your webpage justice, and no-one wants to click on it.

Ave Pos

This is the average position that your site shows up in the results. In the example screenshot above, when searching for “Essex Max”, this site comes up as the third entry. If Google Webmaster Tools reports an Average Position of 3 for that phrase, the website is, on average, shown at position 3 in the list.


With all four of the types of information shown, there is a “Change” field, showing the percentage that the result has increased (green) or decreased (red) in the date range specified.


That’s it – any questions, please add them in the comments below…

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