Posted on February 15, 2018
SEO developers lucky enough to have access to Google’s new Search Console for the last several months have also had the opportunity to help steer its direction. Now the party is open to everyone. Google announced earlier this month that the new Search Console is available to all verified users.
The new Search Console is intended to bring an already useful tool into the modern era with better results, better reports, and more tools to make search engine optimization easier for developers. Any SEO developer looking to stay on the cutting edge should start using the new console as soon as possible.
Google says that the new console is still in beta and, as such, does not yet have all the features engineers expect to implement. Users will be able to utilize both the old and new console side-by-side while engineers are busily porting features from old to new.
A little bit about how the new console came to be is probably in order here. The old console, while useful enough, was not giving SEO developers all the tools that they needed to take full advantage of Google’s ever-changing search engine. In response to complaints, Google set about developing a new console. Over the last few months they have been soliciting detailed feedback from a select number of users helping them test the beta version.
From that feedback they have made adjustments to the new console to bring it more in line with what developers want. To that end, Google engineers will continue soliciting feedback until the final product is ready. You can influence the direction of the new Search Console by using it side-by-side with the older version and then letting Google engineers know what you think.
With all the preliminaries out of the way, you are probably dying to know what’s actually new with this new console product. Google has not revealed every detail about every new feature, but here is what we know thus far:
Google engineers have completely overhauled the Search Performance section of the tool. New features here include the ability to overlay numerous metrics in a single view and the ability to filter results using multiple variables simultaneously.
Search performance is also improved with access to a wider range of data for longer historical comparisons. In short, we can now look beyond just three months of search history. We can now go out as far as 16 months.
Google has combined the Index Status and Crawl Error sections of the old console into a single Index Coverage section. The combined section provides a much clearer picture of how Google is indexing sites, identifying errors, and fixing those errors. The tool allows for multiple data views in an easy-to-understand table. It also offers the opportunity to request an index update following resolution of your issues.
As we mentioned numerous times, the new Search console is still in beta. Google engineers are hard at work to make the tool exactly what SEO developers want. To that end, there are more features yet to come including new and better reports for the following metrics:
There are rumors that Google will be porting its Rich Results Testing tool into the new console for better error resolution. The new Search Console may also be tweaked for better integration with Assistant, though Google has not explained the reasoning behind such integration yet.