The definitions of average position in the search query report in Google Webmaster Tools and search optimization report in Google Analytics is being changed by Google. The change was revealed in the Google Webmaster Blog and Google Analytics Blog.
What’s the new definition?
As per the new definition, your search ranking will be determined by the average of the top ranking of the site for all searches, as opposed to all URLs listed and average that. Please note that only the top rankings will be taken. Earlier, the average search ranking was gathered by taking all the positions of your rankings and averaging them together.
This is how Google explains it-
“Let’s say Nick searched for [bacon] and URLs from your site appeared in positions 3, 6, and 12. Jane also searched for [bacon] and URLs from your site appeared in positions 5 and 9. Previously, we would have averaged all these positions together and shown an Average Position of 7. Going forward, we’ll only average the highest position your site appeared in for each search (3 for Nick’s search and 5 for Jane’s search), for an Average Position of 4.”
The impact of this on your Top Search Queries and Google Analytics Data
As per Google the historical data will not change, only the Top Search Queries Data going forward will be affected. Google said, “Note that the change in calculation means that the Average Position metric will usually stay the same or decrease, as we will no longer be averaging in lower-ranking URLs.”
Google is of the view that webmasters anticipations of how a link’s position in Google Search results should be reported will be matched better with this new method of calculation.