Bill Hartzer

Google Search Query Impressions Going Down Drastically?

In Google Webmaster Tools, there is a useful report called the Search Queries report. This report shows your website’s impressions in Google organic search, the clicks to your website, and the average position (of your ranking). Typically, I review this repor from time to time, but I don’t necessarily look at it as often as I look at Google Analytics. What should you do if your impressions and clicks go down drastically? Perhaps like this:

First, we need to discover the cause. There are several things that you need to look at:

– Review Google Analytics to make sure that the site’s traffic is going down or up overall.
– Review Google Analytics’ Google organic traffic to see if it’s going up or down.

Is Google Analytics Traffic Consistent with GWT?
If the Google Analytics traffic is consistent with the drop in Google Webmaster Tools’ search query report, then you need to look at whether or not your search engine rankings dropped. Compare the period after the drop (if it dropped on August 10, then compare traffic from August 10 to today with the previous period). Start looking at various reports (google organic traffic, the SEO report, the keywords report, overall traffic report, etc.) to see if you can see what changed.

Is Google Analytics Traffic Not Consistent with GWT?
If the Google Analytics traffic is not consistent with what you’re seeing in Google Webmaster Tools’ search query report, then you need to figure out why. Did you make any recent changes to the website?

Well, in the case of my site in particular, I recently changed the site from http to https. In Google’s eyes, these are two separate websites. So, you need to actually verify your https site in Google Webmaster Tools in order to see the correct data. I showed you, in the earlier screen capture above, the impressions data in the search query report. That’s for http://www.billhartzer.com.

As you might recall, I moved the site from http to https and therefore my impressions on http should be going down.
Well, here’s what it looks like for https://www.billhartzer.com (which is the secure version).

So, there are reasons why your site’s traffic and impressions may be going down in Google Webmaster Tools and the data that you see in Google Analytics could be going up. You need to assess the whole entire situation and figure out the root cause of a drop in search engine rankings.

I recently moved from http to https and my search engine rankings are going up as a result. When I moved the site from http to https I also moved to a dedicated IP address (which is required for an SSL certificate) and I also added Cloudflare to it at the same time. Here’s an update on my rankings since the move to https:

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