Welcome to Google Webmaster Tools 2.0!
Last week, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools to its new name: Google Search Console. A post on Webmaster Central Blog states the reasoning for the rebranding: “to make sure that our product includes everyone who cares about Search.”
The post points out that the term “webmaster” does not completely reflect everyone who uses Google Webmaster Tools. As such, Google has changed its free web service to include everyone who may use the tools.
“Why Change? ‘Google Webmaster Tools’ was Fine!”
Ten years ago, Google Webmaster Tools came onto the scene. It allowed webmasters the ability to change many aspects of the sites they managed — submit sitemap to Google, set a preferred domain name, generate a robots.txt file — so they could create better, more efficient sites to show up on the SERPs.
What does this change mean exactly? Well, Google is realizing that Google Webmaster Tools has universal use. The “webmasters” who use the tool are now legion — programmers, SEO experts, marketers, et cetera. Webmasters are no longer, and haven’t been for some time, the sole ones who benefit from gaining added insight into their website.
It’s a smart move, honestly. We will all feel the Google Webmaster Tools rebranding pains for the moment (mainly the updated Google Webmaster Tools dashboard), but those will pass. As it turns out, Google’s commitment to user-friendliness extends far beyond those who simply use Google as a search engine. We think Google changes are the kind you can trust because their number one goal is improving user experiences — and that goes for users on both the management and usability sides of the website experience.
Once we settle into the new Google Search Console, we’re betting it’ll feel every bit as natural as Google Webmaster Tools ever did.
New Features of Google Search Console
Search Engine Land already reports two new features that have appeared in the Google Search Console. Centered on App Indexing, the features include a Search Analytics report for your Android apps, as well as “Fetch,” which gives insights into how “Google sees the content within your Android app.” These features are likely the first of many new tools that will help Google Search Console users gain a better understanding of how they are servicing the modern-day user base.
If powerful new features like Google analytics tools are what we get in return for the rebranding, we’ll gladly stick around to see what comes next.
Will Other Search Engines Follow Google’s Lead?
Last time we checked, Bing Webmaster Tools has not changed. But if the World’s Biggest Search Engine has decided to move to a more all-inclusive name, we can see others doing the same.
Maybe we’ll even see a rebranding of Google’s “Webmaster Central Blog!” Time will tell.
Michael Fink, product manager for Google, tells us to expect the branding to update over the next few weeks. For now, you can visit g.co/SearchConsole to see what’s new.