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Weird Ranking Info in Webmaster Tools Query Stats

Some supposedly good rankings don't jive with actual results



1:26 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is an odd one and perhaps another clue to the penalty mess.

Once upon a time, I enjoyed wonderful rankings for a whole bunch of terms. Then the penalties started. Well, we all know that tune and it's a sad one. Up and down, but mostly down, in a big big way.

Now here's the weird thing:

Google's Webmaster Tools/Query Stats page shows a #14 Top Query Search Clicks ranking with a #3 Average Top Position for one of my important two keyword phrases. Yet when I click the phrase (or otherwise run a normal query) the phrase does not appear on the Google search results page.

I also have a very important one word phrase that's in the same boat - it shows at #6 and #7 on that Webmaster Tools chart, but is nowhere to be found in the search results.

My site is clean, all original content, been around for a decade. No doubt I've made a mistake (or mistakes) somewhere along the way, but trying to figure out exactly what is making the algos angry is making me crazy (and driving me to the poor house).


6:36 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Maybe personalized search is making the difference? Supposedly that can change rankings all around.


6:56 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For me the Query Stats don't give accurate results either. For one site it hardly works at all.


10:36 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's definitely not personalized search. These terms show up in the WT lists for aggregate as well as the US ... but not in the SERPS.

Other terms in the lists are shown with relatively accurate postions. It's just my most important that have been flushed. :(


10:49 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is it perhaps #6/7 if you search on Google Images?


11:45 pm on Feb 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a hunch that most of the discrepancies in the ranking tools are geo-location issues. The Webmaster Tools probably just queries google.com and if so, the results there will naturally be vastly different than people find on the country-coded Googles.


12:50 am on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's not geolocation, but I'll be damned, it's an images thing.


Thanks for the wakeup call!


8:29 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I too noticed the same thing but sometimes Query Stats shows the correct Ranking and I can able to see on the same position when searched manually in Google.com


4:45 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've asked this same question before as well. Over the last several months we've shown a ranking of #14 for a keyword that previously used to be #2-3. The problem is that when we actually do a search, we can't find the result anywhere in the top 50 page. Some of the phrases in webmaster tools show correctly, but we've always had discrepancies that I've not been able to figure out.

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