Lovely people,
Is the 'total impressions' metric in the GSC tell you anything in terms of performance? It is just the no. of times your site appeared on the user's screen, isn't it?
We mostly look into the total clicks and average positions, right?

Thank you for answering,
Joe

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Carson Premium Plus Featured Comment
Hi Joe,

In Google Search Console, "impressions" are how often someone saw a link to your site on Google.

If you're seeing impressions, then your site is ranking and getting displayed in the search results. If the audience finds the title and description relevant or captivating enough, they will click to visit your site.

Hope this helps!
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ParthaB Premium Featured Comment
Hey Joe,

Impressions are the number of times your articles appear in the search results.

However, being in the search results can mean ranking anywhere from number 1 to 100+.

If you want me to be honest, people tend to get a little carried away with impressions.

As far as I'm concerned it's not an important metric until you're ranking well.

An article can be ranked no. 98 on Google for. HUGE keyword, one that gets searched a 1,000 times a day.

So, in effect you will potentially receive 300,000 impressions a month for just that ONE article.

BUT

How many people do you think will click on your article when you're ranked at no. 98?

I'll tell you for nothing - ZERO.

That said, when your articles start ranking well, I.e. Top 10, impressions become a little more important.

You can see which specific phrases are receiving lots of impressions, but very few clicks in GSC.

This allows you the opportunity to place these phrases within your articles.

The aim is that you start ranking higher for those specific phrases, which means you can hopefully convert those impressions to more clicks.

I have previously written a blog post about how to get more traffic to your already ranking articles.

Hope that helps.

Partha
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richardgb Premium
Well put, Partha. Focusing on what it takes to achieve ranking makes total sense to me.
:-)
Richard
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jvranjes Premium
I think it is a bit different. According to an explanation on Support Googlle (cannot attach link), for desktops, this is about a specific SERP and not a complete search query. So the link does not need to be seen on a SERP to be counted. But for search results without paging it would be based on a query. So impressions may have some value, as an indication of ranking.
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ParthaB Premium
Hey Jovo,

I agree to some extent.

I was trying to simplify matters.

An impression will usually mean that a searcher is on the actual page on which your content appears (but I'll explain in a minute how I've seen otherwise).

So, as another simple example, if you are ranked no. 98 then the searcher will currently be on page 10 of the search results for a specific phrase.

When it says the "link does not need to be seen to be counted", the searcher could be at the top of page 10, so will only see results for 91,92,94,94, etc. but they won't "see" you result unless they scroll.

Without paging will typically be something like images or mobile where you have to click "see more results" rather than clicking onto the next page.

Once again, when the searcher arrives at the "page" (the next 10 results) where your result is, this will show up as an impression, whether they "see" it or not (below the fold).

However, the reason I tried to keep it simple is because I have checked sites in the very early days and been left somewhat confused by the impression count (perhaps I was overthinking it).

And I have on numerous occasions found that I have received impressions, however either a related video or image from my written content was the first page on the search results, but the actual article didn't appear to be ranked anywhere.

So, does this mean that the searcher completed an image search or a video search, or simply that they completed a "normal" web search and I have received an "impression" because one of the images or videos from my article is within the first page search results?

See, very confusing!

I have still never discovered or read a decent explanation of whether a searcher is looking through the "web" results (so the "normal" SERPs), but if your image is listed in "related images" if that counts as an impression.

I have assumed that it does.

The reason I came to this conclusion is because on GSC it has shown as an impression, but when I go to the "search apperance" tab the impression shows up under "Google Page Experience". So, not "images" or "videos".

Therefore, how can I receive an impression when my link is definitely NOT in the SERPs (remember I did this in the early days of a website), but GSC tells me the impression was made under "Google Page Experience"?

Sorry, I don't know if any of that makes sense, LOL.

Just from my own experience it makes me slightly confused as to how impressions are counted.

Partha
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jn232 Premium
Thank you for the well-detailed explanation, Partha.
I really appreciated that a lot.

Joe
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jvranjes Premium
This about images is confusing to me as well, not sure if this counts or not. But I guess it is of no much value in any case.
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richardgb Premium
and, it's about to get more complicated because Google have announced they are soon going to test "continuous scroll" on mobiles. How on earth they're going to measure that I don't know!
:-)
Richard
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YvonneBray Premium
Thank you Partha, I understand this topic much better.
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jn232 Premium
Thank you all for the explanation.
Looks like an important metric in GSC too.

Joe
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MAXINEG Premium Plus
Hey Joe,

Carson and Partha nailed it.
Have a great week!

Maxine
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RCanty Premium Plus
Thanks for the question, I need that answer too!

Canty
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