Google Says Impressions Do Not Equal Search Volume

The impressions your site receives for a keyword are not indicative of the search volume for that keyword, says John Mueller, a Google search attorney.

This was mentioned on Twitter in response to a question about whether impressions data in Google Search Console can be used to estimate search volume.

For example, if you have a page rank in the first position for a particular keyword, and it is receiving 1,000 impressions per month, does that mean that the search volume for that keyword is 1,000 queries per month?

No, that’s not how it works, Mueller says.

Impressions are not the size of the search

First, Mueller Shows how impression data differs from search volume data:

“Impressions are the impressions your site received in search. Not all impressions have to be shown to all users. It’s not search volume. Also, all tools guess and simplify search volume, so the numbers you see in search volume tools will always be wrong.”

Syed Sufyan, the Twitter user who asked the first question, presses further.

Has a page ranking for a particular keyword. So it asks if the impressions a page receives are indicative of the amount of searches being done for that keyword.

Soufyan States:

Thanks for the clarification, but I’m still confused!
for example:
I have a keyword/query (say ‘buy shoes’) in Search Console that ranks first and gets 1000 impressions in one month, so search volume should be 1000 too? “

Sufyan assumes, since the page is ranked first, that his page is shown to him Everyone Who enters the keyword in Google.

So, according to his logic, the number of impressions displayed in Search Console can be used as a way to find out the keyword’s monthly search volume.

Mueller He quickly rejects this theory:

“Not necessarily. Just because you rank first in some cases, doesn’t mean the page always comes up.”

Although rank trackers show that a page ranks first for a particular keyword, it is not accurate to assume that it appears on 100% of searches.

So the impression data for page 1 ranking does not match the search volume for the keyword it is ranking for, since the page is not shown to all searchers.

There are a number of reasons why a page may not be shown to all searchers, despite the first ranking for the keyword.

The layout of the search results page can affect the number of impressions your organic links receive.

For example, if a combination of Google Shopping results and Google Ads are shown, the searcher may have to scroll down a bit before seeing the organic links.

In such a case, an impression of the page will not be recorded in the first position if the searcher does not scroll down enough to see it.

Another reason could be personalization and the fact that the search results are not the same for all users.

The bottom line here is that impressions are not a reliable indicator of search volume.

Source: JohnMu on Twitter

Featured image: Marc Joseph/Shutterstock

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