Google has begun to roll out its new Beta Google Search Console (previously known as Webmaster Tools). This is part of a wider Google trend towards upgrading its user interfaces and rebuilding tools from the ground up. More recently Google AdWords received the same treatment, designed with a new cleaner, bolder and more user-friendly style.
The new Google Search Console isn’t quite ready just yet to completely replace the older version. At present, users can only use it to view data in Performance reports, Index Coverage reports and submit and review XML sitemaps.
The new Performance Reports in Google Search Console makes it easier to view and filter data without the need for checkboxes and update buttons. The way this data is presented is much improved compared to previous efforts.
The new version allows users to view and analyse 16 months worth of data, which will help when looking for more long-term trends and projections.
Below is the main overview chart, which features a tabbed table that allows you to view top-level data for Queries, Pages, Countries and Devices. You can explore the data table further by clicking on the individual rows.
The new Index Coverage report shown below works the same way as the performance report functionality, making it easier to view and filter data.
The report shows correctly indexed URLs, warnings about potential issues and reasons why Google won’t indexing various URLs. There’s a new share button that will allow the user to share the task more easily with the most appropriate person.
The table below also works similarly to the performance report interactive table. This makes it easy to dig deeper into the data, in order to further analyse any raised issues.
The most noticeable difference for the Sitemaps section, besides the layout, is that you can no longer submit a test sitemap. Whether this has been removed completely or if it may return in future updates is yet to be seen. Apart from this, you can still submit your XML sitemap as usual.
In a recent blog post, Google has said that more features will be added over time and that some features may not be the same as before. This is because the exercise aims to simplify the process of optimising a website’s presence on Google Search.
Throughout the year there will be a number of revised features. These including search enhancements such as AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and Job Postings amongst many other optimised familiar features.
We will be closely following the update progress of Google Search Console and be sure to keep you posted on future developments.
Got a question about Google Search Console or simply want to talk about your own digital marketing needs? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.