I have not visited my Google Sitemaps accounts for a while and when I did so the past few days ago I was greeted with a few new numbers to analyze.
Google has added a new column called “Average top position” for both “Top search queries” and “Top search query clicks” tables. It gives an idea of how a page within your web site is positioned against its competitors. Obviously it lists only the your site on keywords which appear on search engine results for “Top search queries” column. Therefore if your site is relatively new and is not ranking on any search phrase, most likely nothing will appear on your “Top Searches” section. The right table typically shows any top ten average position on search engine results mainly because people are more likely to click on first- or second-page results than on succeeding pages.
The right table will also show us that even if your site is not ranked number one or two in Google it could still get clicked. The key is to compose a compelling and descriptive title and elaborate it further in the meta description tag. Otherwise if you have rich content, Google will pick those keywords from your page’s body content and display as a snippet.
My next wishlist for Google Sitemaps is to list all pages indexed as well as partially-indexed (such as “Supplementary Content” on search results) even if I can use the “site:www.website.com” format. Maybe I am asking too much for a product that’s offered for free.