What’s the difference between URL and Site Reporting in Search Console?

I’ve seen these questions a couple times recently and the search console documentation can be a bit confusing, so let’s answer this here.

"What’s the difference between URL and site reporting?"

The one line answer is: site level tracking in search console treats your entire site as one URL. URL level tracking treats each URL individually.

This is the same question as: "What’s the difference between site impressions and URL impressions?". Google just calls it different things in different places.

The whole thing will be more obvious with an example:

Are you a video person?

If so we've got a video version of this post you can watch here.

A quick example

Let’s take a branded SERP for the imaginary ecommerce brand greenzebra.com.

Query: “Green Zebra”



  1. greenzebra.com
  2. facebook.com/green-zebra
  3. x.com/green-zebra
  4. greenzebra.com/contact-us

How many impressions does Google return for “Green Zebra” in Search Console?

  • With site reporting

The answer is 1. The entire site is treated as one URL for the purposes of tracking.

  • With URL reporting

The answer is 2. Each URL is treated separately for the purposes of tracking and gets 1 impression.

What about rank?

Yep same way. In site reporting Google will average the two URLs, in URL reporting each will be reported with it’s own rank.

Does this also happen to clicks?

This also applies to clicks, but the difference will be a lot smaller. This is because you’ll only get two clicks if someone has opened your website twice from the same query search (e.g. perhaps opening multiple tabs).

Other notes If you're trying to reconcile Search Console numbers and they don't add up this is sometimes the problem. We're written about data discrepancies between Search Console and Looker studio (or even within Search Console) in a separate post as it's larger topic.

When should you use url level reporting?

95% of the time you want URL tracking. We usually care about the URLs our visitors landed on.

When should you use site level reporting?

The primary use case for site level is tracking branded impressions.

If you want to see how many people are searching for your brand, the thing you care about is the number of times people searched for you, not the number of times you appeared.


We don’t have comments setup on the blog at the moment, but if you ping me over on X/Twitter @dom_woodman if you’re still stuck and I’ll update the post with any additional clarifications.

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By Dominic Woodman -- I'm the founder of Piped Out and have never loved 3rd person bio's.

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