Reports Of Google Webmaster Tools Impression Data Drops

Jan 7, 2013 • 8:31 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsA Google Webmaster Help thread has reports of some webmasters claiming their Google Webmaster Tools impression data dropped to zero on December 28th/29th.

Why do I think this is a reporting error over a webmaster error?

Gary Illyes from Google responded in a way that made me believe it was a bug with Google's reporting engine:

I let the engineers know about the problem with and they're going to take a look.

Webmaster Stuart said:

On December 28 2012 my site dropped impressions, clicks and traffic to almost 0 in a matter of minutes and has not gone back up. Everything in my server is ok, and the webite has not had any major changes. If you search zintro on google it doesnt even show up until the second page, the same happens with

There are no errors or messages on webmaster tools and I really don't understand what happened.

Please help me, I am very frustrated with this problem and it doesn't appear to have a fix on our side.

Others have seen the same issue.

Have you?

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Adam Tal

01/07/2013 01:35 pm

Yep seen this. Super scary.

Gabriel Sita

01/07/2013 02:53 pm

I had the same problem.


01/07/2013 05:50 pm

Same here seeing a supposed drop of 500% in website impressions for the last 8 days. I have no idea whats going on, raw server logs say traffic is normal. Maybe another google glitch or one (or more) of the google servers that process impression data has failed? **correction to the above : its a 640% drop now after impression data was updated today**. However again raw logs confirm website traffic and impressions are slightly higher than usual. Very odd.

Fede Einhorn

01/07/2013 08:27 pm

Same here. Plus a ranking loss, appearing under sites with no content and spam links...

Paul Ryan

01/07/2013 08:32 pm

No problem with traffic on 28/29 December (server logs show normal traffic and so does Webmaster Tools, in fact all is fine for the days since, too). Barry, you missed the bit where he isn't ranking for zintro. And as was pointed out by Marie he has a lot of duplicate content issues (I'm not saying it's Panda, just that it looks like a product of their own making). Not very interesting, many stories like this on a lot of forums.

Eleanor Thorne

01/07/2013 09:37 pm

I completely dropped off the map the 28th - and I have no personal History available from my Google Account either - major dip in my numbers of over 50%

Eleanor Thorne

01/07/2013 09:40 pm

Previous is my Author Clicks - corresponding to here's the Analytics


01/07/2013 11:09 pm

Good point. If it were just a webmaster tools issue, the site would be ranking as it should. This is what I first thought when I read this story. If it were a webmaster tools "bug", actual SERPs wouldn't be affected.

Shashi Kant Srivastava

01/08/2013 06:29 am

No there is no error --- on 28/29


01/08/2013 10:50 am

i don't know how something can drop 640%. i always thought max drop can be 100%...

El Deen

01/08/2013 12:00 pm

Think it like this.. if you are on 5th position, 100% drop means you dropped on position 10. 200% drop would mean your site dropped from position 5 to position 20. Or am I wrong.. I'm confused now :P

Steven Lockey

01/08/2013 12:04 pm

It depends on the context used. In absolute terms, a 100% drop would be from anything to zero. In relative terms, a 100% drop would leave it half it's original level of traffic (aka if you increased the current amount by 100% then it would be at it's old level)) Its not a good usage of statistics really but so long as we understand what they mean *shrug*


01/09/2013 02:06 am

Relative terms was exactly what I meat. Thanks for clarifying. In my case, the context in which I was referring to was the percentage drop of raw logs impression data VS Google webmaster tools impression numbers. I suppose a better representation is that for every 10,000 impressions reported in our raw server logs Google Webmaster Tools is reporting just 15 impressions. In other words 10000:15.625 ratio or a difference of 640%.


01/09/2013 02:08 am

Thats another way of putting it if we were referring to serp positions. However I was referring to impression numbers, not SERPS.

El Deen

01/11/2013 08:28 am

ok ok then :)

Style Strand Fashion

04/11/2013 10:26 pm

Same thing here, impressions dropped to zero!

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