New! Google Search Console updates
It seems as though 2018 is really a year of renewal over at Google. Maybe it’s something in the air – we’ve had a third of our clients requesting new sites or site refreshes over the past six months. Maybe they were hoping all this change would preemptively distract us from the Google+ data breach that they knew about for months. Maybe it’s somewhere in between.
Either way, a new Google Search Console has slowly been rolling out since early 2018. A lot has changed and improved and other areas remain untouched. Here’s what’s what!
Generally, what’s new?
- More data! (16 months!)
- Detailed info about specific pages
- Some new reports
- Search Analytics is now called Performance AND IT’S WAY BETTER OMG
- Data goes back 16 months
- Can compare/filter much easier
- Shows average CTR and position up front
- Is prettier. Duh.
- Index Status is now called Index Coverage but it now also houses crawl errors, 404s, etc.“Use this report to learn which of your pages have been indexed, and how to fix pages that could not be indexed. Each bar in the graph represents the total number of URLs in a particular status (valid, error, and so on) as known by Google.”
- Links to your Site is now just called LinksAnd it’s… fine but one cannot see new links chronologically which I am definitely missing. It’s been a helpful way to see brand new links in a handy order that can speak almost directly to our link building efforts!
Anything totally new??
- URL Inspection tool
Similar to the Fetch As Google tool, this tool allows you to see how(or if) Google has indexed particular URLs on your site.
- Submitting sitemaps
While this isn’t technically new, it looks a lot prettier and cleaner and just seems easier.
Is there anything missing from the new version?
- Crawl Stats
- Robots.txt tester
- Structured data
- HTML improvements (i.e. duplicate meta data/pages)
- Change of address, setting preferred domain, associating Search Console property with GA property
- Disavow links
- Security issues
When does old Search Console go away?
Google has a few things to say about that:
“We strongly recommend using the newer version of each report, as it becomes available. Old reports with a new equivalent will soon be removed”
“After a reasonable period, we will remove the old report.”
“We will continue working on moving more reports and tools as well as adding exciting new capabilities to the new Search Console.”
Our team does in-depth technical reviews during our audits and for ongoing clients and one of the primary tools that we use is Search Console. Since the release of new Search Console, I’ve found that I’ve been switching back and forth between old & new, using both to get the same job done which is annoying, to say the least. And while I appreciate a slow rollout (because where do I find automated rules in Google Ads, again??) it would have been really nice to have a complete new version and a complete old version to switch between, similar to the new Google Ads roll out.
Stay tuned for more Google Search Console news – or if you think your site needs a technical audit, contact us!