joined:Sept 16, 2015
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[webmasterworld.com] by robert_charlton - 4:05 am on Feb 1, 2017 (PDT -8)
Here's something I found happened at the start of January across smaller, medium and massive websites, across verticals, within my GSC account.
I will write down the exact steps you can take to check if this happened with your properties as well.
1.) Timespan last 90 days, select all metrics, group by countries (there is no possibility to write in a country you're looking for so you need to find it manually in the next step)
2.) Sort by impressions descending
3.) If I'm right, most likely you'll see "Unknown Region" within the first 30 results for larger sites (in terms of organic traffic), first 10 for smaller ones
4.) Click on the Unknown Region to filter by that, what you should see is a 10x drop in impressions
and a 2x spike in avg. position
at around January 4th-5th
-> clicks actually remained the same (so CTR rose also through the roof)
5.) This change is maintained and steady for the data I have so far (last day for which I have data is January 29th, because of the GSC delay of course)
Just sharing this 'cause it looks like a wide-spread phenomena, so hoping to get confirmations from others, feel free to report if you found something similar.
One of the questions arising from this observation is: could this be related to the general observation about country of origin traffic shifts that other members noticed (at a later date though, January 24th if I'm not mistaken)?
Another hypothesis that leaped to mind is maybe a SERP tracker or some other major bot that Google started counting out of the equation since this date. I based this on the fact that most of those impressions were evenly spread across queries and the number of impressions per specific query was the same each week.
But let's see if others see this same pattern in GSC