Google’s New Average Position Reporting

Google’s New Average Position Reporting

Google announced today that it would be changing the way it calculated average position in the search queries reports available in both Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics.

Quote from the Webmaster Central Blog post

Previously we reported the average position of all URLs from your site for a given query. As of today, we’ll instead average only the top position that a URL from your site appeared in.

What this means is that the average position numbers will either look slightly better or stay about the same depending on how many positions you typically show up in. It definitely makes the report more in-line with expectations and also means your numbers (might) look better when you report them to your boss.

My only concern is that the new way of calculating will mislead people about how well they are doing. If you are only seeing your best position, then you may not recognize that there is room for improvement.
Example of Calculation:

I’m sure we’d all like seeing that we are at position 3 instead of 7, but what if it’s the wrong page in that position? The old calculation required a little more interpretation, but it gave you a reason to take a closer look at your visibility.

What do you think? Is this a good way for Google to go? Am I making a fuss about nothing? Let me know in the comments.

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