If you want to get found on Google, utilizing Google’s Search Console is a must. This free tool helps small business owners, SEO experts, marketers and more submit sitemaps, view search trends and keyword data and get alerts on their site’s performance on the world’s largest search engine. Earlier this month, Google unveiled a new look for the search console platform that is designed to help you better uncover actionable insights, review and fix errors and collaborate with your team. So let’s take a look at the new layout and its features.
It’s important to note that not all of the search console functions have moved into the new platform. The current functionality includes Search performance, Index Coverage, AMP status, and Job posting reports. Google has stated that over the next year they will continue to add functionality to the new search console. Until then, you can access Beta (the new one) as well as the original search console.
Search Console Beta
To access the beta versions of the new search console, open the message they sent your portal. You can also access it here: https://search.google.com/search-console
The first thing you’ll notice is the very clear and updated look. The left-side navigation is clear and the home screen visualizations are easy to read.
To get more detail about a report, simply click open report.
The search performance has received a very nice upgrade. One of the best new features is that it gives you access to 16-months of data versus 90 days of data that was available in the older version. Now you have the ability to look at year-over-year search trend data right inside of search console!
You still have the ability to add a filter to see average CTR and Position data as well. The new look along with access to more data makes this tool even more important than ever. As a self-proclaimed SEO and data nerd, this is a much needed upgrade to a tool that is already one of my favorites.
Index Coverage Tool
Ensuring that your site is indexed properly is a must. If you’re not indexed, you’re not searchable on Google. While you could track indexing in the old versions, the Beta version makes it much easier and alerts you when it finds issues.
Not only does it alert you to any indexing issues, it has a build in diagnostic section to help you uncover where the issue is and how to fix it. This is a great addition and saves both experienced and non-experienced website owners a lot of time and headache.
For those of you who aren’t web savvy, the “share” button makes it easy to quickly and clearly share the issues. This again relieves the headache of trying to translate the issue you found to a technical member of your team.
Are you using AMP or Job Posting? Well, then new search console was aimed at helping you better use these features. When it comes to AMP, the code requirements are very strict and errors can negatively impact you.
As you can see, defining issues is very clear and it allows for a faster feedback process. Similar to the indexing page, the new search console will help you uncover where the issues are on your AMP pages and help you find a solution.
No more crawling through your code to identify where things went wrong. Instead, you just click on the page where the issue was triggered and search console shows you where the problem resides. This feature is a great time saver and helps make sure that your site is meeting all of the AMP or Job Posting requirements.
While the new version of search console is in beta, the added features are definitely worth checking out. As mentioned above, there are a number of features that have not yet been moved over but don’t let that stop you. If you need one of the older tools it can still be accessed. For me, the new Search Performance updates are worth the switch alone. Google is clearly making an effort to empower site owners with more actionable data. Something that benefits us all.