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How are clicks and impressions calculated for queries?

     
7:22 am on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I am a bit confused on how google actually calculated the impressions and clicks for a specific query. According to my knowledge, the impression will be counted only when the user is able to see the website for a query and click is recorded when he actually clicks on the result.

But, i have seen that even the brand keyword for one of my websites is having more impressions and very few clicks. I have searched in google and my website appears in position 1 on page 1 as it is a brand keyword.

My question here is, how can the CTR be not 100% for a brand keyword. If a user types in a keyword which is exactly the brand name, then he must click on the result as it will definitely be on page 1 at position 1

Can any one please explain me this.
4:51 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Drupad

Welcome to Webmaster World!

If a user types in a keyword which is exactly the brand name, then he must click on the result as it will definitely be on page 1 at position 1


Not necessarily.

The brand-name will of course affect this, as a business name made up of other search terms (e.g. mytown fast clutch repairs) couldn't expect the same CTR as something unique that does not involve common words (e.g. Imzinatia).

However, even with something like the latter example some searchers may be looking for independent reviews of the business rather than the business itself (or might go to the Facebook page - if there is one - rather than the main site). You couldn't therefore expect 100% CTR even in the case of a reputable business with a unique name.

Posible reasons for lower CTR might be:

1. The brand-name is similar to that of a very popular business;
2. Your site has poor reviews somewhere, and users are looking for corroboration;
3. Users are opting for one of your competitors in Google's "people also search for..." box;
4. A review site is in a prominent position (e.g. #2), and users want to look at that first.

You don't say what is in the following postions on page 1, which will obviously also have some bearing on it: in Google searches for my own (unique, registered trade-mark) brand-name is #1, but is also highly prominent (six popular sub pages are listed in a block immediately below it), while positions immediatley below it comprise directory listings, Facebook, and other relevant pages. I think it unlikely that a click on one of the popular sub-pages would be counted in Google's CTR (and Facebook obviously wouldn't), and if your site has similar pages in Google's listing for your barnd-name that would have an obviouls diluting effect.

There is also the point that Google's stats are notoriously unreliable, and have been bug-affected recently, so I wouldn't be unduly concerned myself unless I saw a significant downturn in traffic.

However, if the CTR is very low and it isn't just a reporting issue you may need to do some work find the reason for it.
5:23 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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First what Willburforce explains is good. I would add a two more points.
1- Ads, depending on the nature of the query/brand there could be a considerable amount of ads appearing above the first organic result. This may even be the case if you are targeting ads on your brand. The user will find the ad before the organic result. Google is becoming better at obfuscating or blurring the line between ads and organic content. So user may be clicking ads thinking the are organic results.

2- What you see is not necessarily what others see. What is the average position for the keyword? Even if the average position is one, it remains an average so there could be instances where the brand is not in the top spot. And this applies to point 1 also, in that you may see few or no ads but your target audience may be seeing many.

As Willburforce points:
Google's stats are notoriously unreliable

I don't fully agree, I thnik the GSC stats are pretty good, better than what you can get anywhere else, but they don't paint the full picture, so they need to be taken with a grain of salt. So technically, I guess that makes them unreliable. The best of the worst.
5:41 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Even if the average position is one, it remains an average
Iíll buy this if the average position is 1.5, 2, 5, 27 or any other >1 quantity, but how can any significant number of non-1 results still give an average of 1?
8:22 pm on May 28, 2019 (gmt 0)

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significant number

While what you say is strictly correct, one must consider the fact that these numbers are rounded, so an average position of 1.01 to 1.05 will be rounded to 1.0. On a large volume of impressions this can amount to a significant number.

So yes you are correct when rounding isn't a factor but here it is.
5:22 am on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@wilburforce

Thanks for your valuable info. It's really helpful.
5:28 am on May 29, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@nickmns

[he user will find the ad before the organic result]

I think this might be the reason why i am unable to see grater CTR in GSC. Thanks for your info