Greg Schueler

Mar 14, 2013
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I don't know if this has always been a factor as a lot of my previous clients didn't run Adwords, but I was just looking through GWT (now known as the Search Console) under Search Traffic ==> Search Analytics ==> Average Position and it confused me.

I saw a client with an average ranking position of 1.0 for an awesome keyword and 3.0 for another. I just rehabbed his site and seriously doubted he was really ranking for those words already, so I ran a search. Sure enough he was #1 and #3 respectively, but in the Adwords section of the results. No where to be found in the organic section.

So is GWT search traffic section ALL traffic and not just organic traffic?

I always thought the rankings section was somewhat accurate (a few odd balls), but with Adwords positions being factored in it really distorts tracking seo results without using another service. And I am not sure if this is new, temporary or has always been that way?

Anyone know for sure? Thanks in advance!

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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Greg, somehow I didn't see this originally, so I 'm glad that you linked to it again today from another post.

That's very interesting (very sinister? very confusing?) information. Thanks for reporting this.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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I thought the Google Search Analytics doc shed a little more light on what the data actually is but... not so much

It mentions "search results" but doesn't specify if ads are or are not included in the data. They do mention clicks from Knowledge graph results, so I'd have to think if they count clicks to those types of links, they may include clicks to any link on the page pointing to your site.

One way to test it create a small ad leading to a no-indexed page on your site targeting some insanely crazy (irrelevant) term that doesn't cost much per click. Run the ad for a little while, and see if that landing page starts showing up in the WMT data. Any takers on that experiment?

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