Google Search Console: Brand new search console out of beta with new features

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Google Search Console

The beginning of 2018 was a Christmas early for Google Search Console. Google team gave a change over to the console that is a church for data enthusiasts. Doesn’t matter how powerful the paid tool is right now and will be in the coming times, Google Search Console will remain one of the primary sources to pull important data. Starting from today, all users will have new search console available.

This post deals with the new search console and its exciting new features. This post will help you understand the features and also the difference between the old version and the new one.

Without further ado, let’s dive inūüėČ

Read Also: SEO Glossary for 2018

New Search Console For A Limited Number Of Users

Last year, in Aug’17, Google released new search console for a limited number of users. The first version launched, which was known as Google Webmaster Tool, more than a decade ago, had only 4 reports. However, the tables turned upside down and now the search console serves more than 2 dozens of tools & reports to help the webmaster pumping more out of their websites.

If not already known, the tools & reports that are served right now include but not limited to:

  1. AMP

  2. Structured data

  3. Live testing tools

  4. Sitemaps testing tool

  5. Robots.txt testing tools

  6. ….. and more such awesome tools & features

These tools & features are in place to serve you, the webmaster, better and grow your website numbers for good.

The redesign has taken a lot of time and effort to be just fine enough to help you with the following:

  • More actionable insights¬†– The Search Console will now group the identified issues by what it suspects is the common ‚Äúroot-cause‚ÄĚ to help you find where you should fix your code. It organizes these issues into tasks that have a state (similar to bug tracking systems) so you can easily see whether the issue is still open, whether Google has detected your fix, and track the progress of re-processing the affected pages.

  • Better support of your organizational workflow¬†– Multiple people are typically involved in implementing, diagnosing, and fixing issues. This is why Google introduced sharing functionality that allows you to pick-up an action item and share it with other people in your group, like developers who will get references to the code in question.

  • Faster feedback loops between you and Google¬†– Google has built a mechanism to allow you to iterate quickly on your fixes, and not waste time waiting for Google Bot to recrawl your site, only to tell you later that it‚Äôs not fixed yet. Rather, the search console will provide on-the-spot testing of fixes and are automatically speeding up crawling once Google sees that things are ok. Similarly, the testing tools will include code snippets and a search preview – so you can quickly see where your issues are, confirm you’ve fixed them, and see how the pages will look on Search.

New Search Console Beta version For All Users 

New Google Search Console

The new Google webmaster tool that was accessible only to a few users, was available for all users worldwide since Jan this year. The beta version came with some exciting functionality like  Search performance, Index Coverage, AMP status, and Job posting reports.

Over the course of this year, Google added many features in the classic search console to make it better. Obviously, the features weren’t available in the classic version of the search console. Until today, both versions were accessible to all the users. Switching between the two version was just a click away for all the users.

With the new search console, you will be able to fix any pending issues with your website without even leaving the new search console. Furthermore, you will be able to share reports with whomever concerned. This way everything you need is right within your reach inside the new search console.

General changes In The New Search Console

New Search Console has the following improvements over the old version:

  • Sixteen months of search traffic data, versus three months in the old product

  • Detailed information about a specific page, including index coverage, canonical URL, mobile usability, and more

  • Tracking flows to help you monitor,¬†fix, and request a recrawl of pages affected by crawling issues.

  • New and improved reports and tools, described next.

  • Works on mobile devices.

  • Get an accurate view of your website content using the¬†Index Coverage report.

  • Review your Search Analytics data going back 16 months in the¬†Performance report.

  • See information on links pointing to your site and within your site using the¬†Links report.

  • Retrieve crawling, indexing, and serving information for any URL directly from the Google index using the¬†URL Inspection Tool.

Better alerting and new “fixed it” flows:

  • Get automatic alerts and see a listing of pages affected by Crawling, Indexing, AMP, Mobile Usability, Recipes, or Job posting issues.

  • Reports now show the HTML code where Google thinks a fix necessary (if applicable).

  • Share information quickly with the relevant people in your organization to drive the fix.

  • Notify Google when you’ve fixed an issue. Google will review your pages, validate whether the issue is fixed, and return a¬†detailed log of the validation findings.

Simplified sitemaps and account settings management:

Manual Actions & Security Issues Alerts

To ensure that you don’t miss any critical alerts for your site, active manual actions and security issues will be shown directly on the Overview page in the new console. In addition, the¬†Manual Actions report¬†has gotten a fresher look in the new Search Console. From there, you can review the details for any pending Manual Action and, if needed,¬†file a reconsideration request.

Top Features/New Data In The New Search Console

  • 16 months older data: In the previous version of the search console, fetching older data was not possible(three months in the older version). But with the new version, it is not the case. Now, you can find 16 months of data that will help you analyze the performance of your website/blog. You will be able to analyze older trend and make better decisions for the future. For the records, this data will soon appear in the Search Console API.

  • Index Coverage:¬†The updated¬†Index Coverage report¬†gives you insight into the indexing of URLs from your website. It shows correctly indexed URLs, warnings about potential issues, and reasons why Google isn’t indexing some URLs. The report is built on our new Issue tracking functionality that alerts you when new issues are detected and helps you monitor their fix.
    So how does that work?

    1. When you drill down into a specific issue you will see a sample of URLs from your site. Clicking on error URLs brings up the page details with links to diagnostic-tools that help you understand what is the source of the problem.

    2. Fixing Search issues often involves multiple teams within a company. Giving the right people access to information about the current status, or about issues that have come up there, is critical to improving an implementation quickly. Now, within most reports in the new Search Console, you can do that with the share button on top of the report which will create a shareable link to the report. Once things are resolved, you can disable sharing just as easily.

    3. The new Search Console can also help you confirm that you’ve resolved an issue, and help Google to update our index accordingly. To do this, select a flagged issue, and click¬†validate fix. Google will then crawl and reprocess the affected URLs with a higher priority, helping your site to get back on track faster than ever.

    4. The Index Coverage report works best for sites that submit¬†sitemap files. Sitemap files are a great way to let search engines know about new and updated URLs. Once you’ve submitted a sitemap file, you can now use the¬†sitemap filter¬†over the Index Coverage data, so that you’re able to focus on an exact list of URLs.

    New Google Search Console

  • Search Enhancements: Improve your AMP and Job Postings pages. The new Search Console is also aimed at helping you implement Search Enhancements such as¬†AMP¬†and¬†Job Postings¬†(more to come). These reports provide details into the specific errors and warnings that Google identified for these topics. In addition to the functionally described in the index coverage report, Google augmented the reports with two extra features:

    • The first feature is aimed at providing faster feedback in the process of fixing an issue. This is achieved by running several instantaneous tests once you click the¬†validate fix¬†button. If your pages don‚Äôt pass this test Google will provide you with an immediate notification, otherwise the new search console will go ahead and reprocess the rest of the affected pages.

    • The second new feature is aimed at providing positive feedback during the fix process by expanding the¬†validation log¬†with a list of URLs that were identified as fixed (in addition to URLs that failed the validation or might still be pending).

    Similar to the AMP report, the new Search Console provides a Job postings report. If you have jobs listings on your website, you may be eligible to have those shown directly through Google for Jobs (currently only available in certain locations).

Here are some screenshots from the mobile version of the new search console. When this version was in Beta there were compatibility issues with the mobile screens. Now that the Beta stage is gone, these issues are also gone.

The screenshot below shows the Index Coverage Report. This report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps.

New Search Console If you closely pay attention to the design, you’d notice that the webpage literally looks like an app. I have been using it since morning and I didn’t notice any glitch, it’s fast just like an app. Many of us have been waiting for the Google to release an app for Google Webmaster tools and with the new search console, the wait it over.

The screenshot below shows the AMP fix menu. The new AMP fixing experience starts with the AMP Issues report. This report shows the current AMP issues affecting your site, grouped by the underlying error. Drill down into an issue to get more details, including sample affected pages. After you fix the underlying issue, click a button to verify your fix, and have Google recrawl the pages affected by that issue. Google will notify you of the progress of the recrawl, and will update the report as your fixes are validated.

Final Thoughts On The New Search Console

The new search console is at the verge of sharing a lot of data about the website to the webmaster. This will further ensure that the webmaster doesn’t run out of data to make necessary changes and bring the website right in front of the potential audience.

Furthermore, this is just a beginning. Google hasn’t added what its best known for, AI. As it has already done with Google Adsense, by adding Google Auto Ads, I am expecting something of similar sort. Should you miss the old version, it’s still available and is just a click away. However, you will find comparatively less data in the older version than in the new search console. I cannot wait to see new features like most of the paid tools gives, competitor data.

Over to you. What do you think about the new search console? Did you already used it? Which feature you liked the most? Is it the URL Inspection tool or the 16 months old data access? Let me know in the comment section below.

Also, share this post with those who are looking for this information. Feel free to share this post on your social media to spread awareness about the awesome upgrade of the new search console. Join my mailing list to receive exclusive updates via email and you can even join the Btricks Telegram channel to receive updated right in your mobile phone.

Serpstat

I am an SEO consultant by profession and photographer by choice. I have 5+ years of experience in SEO consulting and content marketing. I aim to become the one-stop for all your digital marketing needs