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An Introduction to the New Google Search Console

By Lydia Barley

If you’re involved in the SEO community you know that for months there has been an overwhelming amount of hype and speculation around the new Google Search Console. Finally, after months of testing from a fixed number of pre-selected users, Google has released the beta version of the new Google Search Console to all users of Search Console. The new Google Search Console currently has four features: search performance, index coverage, AMP status and job posting, each of which we will introduce you to and discuss further in this blog post.

Feature 1: The Search Performance Report

Starting off with the new feature that has the most hype around it, the new search performance report. The search performance report allows you to see clicks, impressions, average click through rate and average ranking position.

Search Performance Report

The new search performance report is similar to the previous search analytics report but with enhanced data ranges. The previous Google Search Console offered only 90 days of data while the new Google Search Console offers 16 months of data. Users are thrilled about the enhanced data ranges, which have been one of the most requested features by users. This change to larger data sets will make analysing longer-term trends easier and will enable year over year comparisons.

Feature 2: The Index Coverage Report

Next up is the updated index coverage report which provides an insight into the indexing of URLs from your website. The report shows correctly indexed URLs, warnings about potential issues and reasons why Google isn’t indexing some URLs.

Index Coverage Report

Google announced that the new report is built on their new issue tracking functionality which alerts you when new issues are detected and helps you monitor their fix. The system will automatically alert you when there is an indexing error. It can then help you trace the source of the error. A series of tools are given to help you understand any indexing errors, as well as a share button so the error can be shared quickly to your colleagues. Google has also included a ‘validate fix’ button which allows users to verify that the action they have taken to correct the error was effective. Overall, the new feature will allow users to solve indexing errors faster and with greater ease.

Feature 3: The AMP Status Report

Google has been promoting accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) since 2016, therefore it’s no surprise that they decided to integrate it into the new Search Console, with this new report. The AMP Status Report covers the performance of your accelerated mobile pages.

AMP Status Report

The AMP Status Report provides warnings around your AMP URLs; showing which URLs have issues and providing a diagnosis of the issue itself. From there Google allows you to fix the issue and then allows you to test whether the fix was effective with a ‘validate fix’ button. Similarly, to the Index Coverage report the AMP report also has a share button, allowing you to share the report quickly and easily amongst colleagues.  With this new feature you will be able to effectively manage the performance of your AMPs, recognising issues, fixing issues and sharing those issues quickly and easily.

Feature 4: The Job Postings Report

Job Postings themselves are a new feature that was introduced by Google last year. Google has included a Job Postings Report in the new Google Search Console, allowing webmasters to monitor Google’s ability to process Job Posting rich results on your site and to inform Google about any changes you have made to those pages.

Job Posting Report

The report is only visible if Google has found Job Posting rich results on your site. If Job Posting rich results are on your site, your Google Search Console will have a Job Postings row in the summary table on the dashboard of the new Search Console. The report shows any errors and warnings for your Job Postings, information on how to fix these errors and a ‘validate fix’ button to ensure your fixes were effective. The Job Postings Report also has a share button, allowing reports to be shared quickly and easily amongst colleagues. If job listings are something that you post on your website, this new feature will ensure you can manage the performance of your postings, as well as allowing you to quickly and effectively remove any errors that should arise with your listings.

Google plans to release other features in the new Search Console to all users throughout the rest of the year. Until this process is complete the old Search Console will continue to run alongside the new Search Console, allowing users to switch between the two. We look forward to seeing the additional features that Google releases. For now, however, we are impressed by and welcome the new Google Search Console features going forward.

 

Categories: SEO