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Webmaster Tools - Search Queries. Anybody figured it out?

WMT, search quesries

1:02 am on Jul 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I am just dumb but had anybody figured out how to interpret the Search Queries in Webmaster Tools?
There is Queries, Impressions and Clicks. For me the Queries and Impressions vary quite a bit but the click always seems to be 10% of the impressions. Normal? I also see that if the position is not on the first page, I don't get any clicks. Normal?
The percentage for Impressions is always -39% and clicks always -19%. Compared to what?
On 7/6/12 the Impressions went up with 2500 but the clicks stayed almost the same as usual according to WMT. Funny thing is that the numbers are always an even number. If the impressions are 2500 then the clicks are 250. Rounded?
Anyway, does anybody have any insight and does it all relate to Panda and Penguin? Does Google use these numbers to for example show a lot more impressions for searches and then count the clicks and value a site that way? I am also guessing that Impressions means all places it is in the SERP for the first 1000 results since they show a lot of impressions that are all over the place.
4:28 am on July 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well, "normal" is a statistical word. If your name is amazon dot com, "normal" is probably around 99%. If your name is the same as mine, you're happy if they come up with a non-zero number at all :)

I also see that if the position is not on the first page, I don't get any clicks. Normal?

No clicks at all seems extreme. But there's a reason people fight and claw to get into that Top Ten range. Especially if the ten people ahead of you are so attractive that nobody ever moves to the next page.

How long ago did you sign on to GWT? I wouldn't expect their changes (anything preceded by + or - signs) to be accurate until you'd been around for a month or more.

Depending on site content, you may get more useful information if you constrain the result to "web" only, leaving out "images". I get tons of people looking for hotlink fodder; the only way to disregard them is to also disregard the people with legitimate queries that happen to involve an image.

Also try toggling between "pages" and "searches". You may have a lot of people landing on a particular page after a wide range of search queries.

Now, someone else is going to explain what an "average" position of 1.0 means. We're not talking about queries so arcane, google could only find one page in the whole world to answer them. And the alternative reading "Your page either came up at #1 or it wasn't in the results at all" doesn't quite pass the Plausibility Test. That's assuming-- as I've always assumed-- that the Position number refers to all impressions, not only the ones that result in clicks.