When you look at the Google Webmaster for traffic they have the clicks, impressions, CTR, and position. The position is always a number with a decimal point? I would like to know what this means please can anyone help?

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Great Question, Ms. Susan,

All the best,

Diane
Hi Susan,
The reason why it shows up as a decimal is because it is not an actual count like the number of clicks or the number of impressions (which are actual quantifiable events in and of themselves).

The average position value is based on how many times a keyword or keyword phrase has triggered your website to be listed in the search results combined with the position in which it appeared at in each of those individual search results.

For example: using a fictitious key word phrase "testing position average decimal point". When that key word phrase triggers a link to a page on your website it appears in the Google Search Results. Let's say that that key word phrase triggered impressions (listings of your website) as below in different Google searches:

keyword triggers your website in a search at position 24
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 38
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 16
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 22
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 7
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 19
keyword triggers your website in another search at position 27

The number that you would get as impressions would be 7. That is the number of times the keyword triggered your website to be listed as a result of a Google search.

The average position is a calculated value based on the position numbers of each individual search result. In this example, we would use 24, 38, 16, 22, 7, 19, 27 as the position values for each individual search result.

The final value shown as average position in Google Webmaster Tools, will be the average of these seven values or 21.9. To calculate the value, take the sum of the seven numbers that show the position your website appeared in the individual search results (gives you 153), then divide by the number of searches where your website appeared (7).

153 divided by 7 = 21.9 --> average position

The average position value in the Google Webmaster Tools shows both the average position for individual keywords or keyword phrases (shown as rows) as well as the grand total of all those keywords (the number in the box top right).

Hope this helps.
So this is the average number of times the site comes up in a search result and not the actual position it holds on Google
for ranking purposes if I understand you correctly :)
That's right. It is a calculation based on how many times your website shows up in different search results along with what position it showed up in each of those individual search result.

It is a helpful statistic though because it helps you to see which keyword terms are triggering impressions, and how often.

Over time, as your website develops, the impression numbers should go up (meaning that your website is showing up more often in search results) and the average position will go down (meaning that overall your website is getting ranked higher in search results).

I check these stats out on a week by week basis.
Thank you so much, Mitch, so can I ask you one more
question if I have a 3.0 is this a good thing or a bad
thing? And then a 17.4 would not be near as good
is that correct?
That's correct, if you are averaging 3.0... that is great.
If you are at 17.4 not as good... but still pretty good.

On my website I am averaging 78.4 overall right now which is down from 90.6 when I first started tracking a couple of weeks ago. On an individual keyword, my best is at 31.

If you have an individual keyword or phrase that has an average position of 3.0 that's very good.

Now take a look at volume. How many impressions does the same keyword or phrase have? If the number of impressions are high it is a high volume search term and you will likely be getting some clicks. If the number of impressions are low, then it is not a high volume search term which may not generate many clicks.
Here is something I just came across that might help clear things up a bit more.

From what I can understand from that support article, the position only counts if it makes an impression. This means that the user actually "saw" the search result.

For example, if the website ranked 43 for a particular search term, then whoever was doing the search must visit page 5 of the search results for it to count as an impression.

Search results 1 - 10 = page 1
Search results 11 - 20 = page 2
etc...

Keep on going. Looks like you've taken some steps in the right direction.
Mitch,
Thank you so much for the time you spent helping me
it is so much appreciated I was trying to figure this
out since yesterday evening with no luck :)
We need more helpers here at WA at times and
you jumped right in thank you.
Have a great holiday :)
Susan
No problem, I found a few things out myself along the way.

I have a pending blog on this topic and you helped to accelerate the research I needed to do on it.

So thanks right back at you!!!

Hey Susan,

Thank you so much I looked and could not find anything
will go check this to see if I can figure it out :)
You are a great help Trish :)
Susan