If you tuned into our SEO webinar last week you may have noticed a fresh new look to the Google Search Console interface. But not only did the look of Google Search Console get a facelift, there’s a lot more data available to users now. On September 4th, Google announced that the new Search Console updates graduated out of beta and were made available to the public. While the new Search Console (previously webmaster tools) was actually launched in the beginning of 2018, they took the time to work with a select group of beta users to really fine-tune the updates and refine the new platform based on user feedback.
Today we’re sharing a rundown of the three most important Google Search Console updates advisors need to be aware of and how to use them.
New Google Search Console Features:
- More data
- Better alerting and “fixed it” flows
- Simplified account settings management
Perhaps the biggest feature of the new Google Search Console updates is the performance report and the ability to compare traffic month to month going back as far as 16 months. This is compared to only 90 days in the old Google Search Console. Users still have the ability to analyze data by query, page, country, device but the new layout makes it easier to apply multiple filters and the expanded data enables you to better analyze growth throughout the year.
index coverage reporting
On the old index coverage report for Google Search Console, you could categorize pages as either indexed or blocked. The new Google Search Console enables you to categorize in four different categories: errors, valid with warnings, valid, or excluded. Why is this important? This overhauled handy report will let you see exactly what Google sees, but in much greater detail.
By clicking on errors within the index coverage reporting, users can more easily potentially fix errors and validate the fix to Google rather than waiting for another re-crawl from bots.
Internal links and links to your site are an incredibly useful tool for site owners to see exactly who is linking to your domain and which pages are linked the most. This is important to monitor progress of any link-building campaigns you may be working on. Google’s help document shares all of the new data users can now get from the new links report:
- Top linking domains (which sites link to you the most).
- Top linked pages (which are your top linked pages from other sites).
- Which are my top linked pages from a specific site?
- Top linking text (what link text points to your site).
- What are the links from a specific site to my page.
- What are the top sites linking to my page.
- Top linked pages (which of your pages are linked the most from within your own site).
- Which of my pages links to my page.
How Google Search Console Updates Affects Financial Advisors:
The updates are only as good as you make them! The effect of the new Google Search Console updates will depend on what you do with the new data and what initiatives you can create and actions you can change with all the new insights.
We encourage everyone to go use the new search console and get a feel for it. Currently, Google has both the old and new versions available so you can ease into the new platform. Google plans to continue to roll out new features and encourages user feedback by clicking the “submit feedback” button on your sidebar.