A Closer Look at Google's New" Search Console"

If you're interested in search engine optimization on any level, you're going to need to be familiar with Google's Search Console as it's an important element in understanding how the search engine views and indexes a  digital property - be it a website or a mobile application. 

Search Console alerts digital property owners of their organic/natural search performance as well as technical issues related to their website - issues significant and otherwise - and in general simplifies the process of optimizing a website's presence on Google's search engine. 

Any change to the reporting processes could impact an enterprise in numerous ways, so it's important to pay attention to any new developments.

Several months ago Google released a beta version of a new Search Console to a limited number of users, but the search engine has now started to release it to all users of the platform.  

If you're still seeing the older version of Search Console and have not yet received a message the new version is available, keep in mind that this is a gradual rollout and Google will notify property owners once their site is available.

What those with access will find within the new Search Console is pretty bare bones right now as many of the reports either haven't been migrated yet or Google is simply planning to migrate the data into different (and better according to Google) views and reports/presentations over the course of 2018. 

Google really only added the basics but there is still a whole lot missing - and arguably it is the most important data that influences leading optimization efforts today. That incldues all forms of control over semantic markup (includign structured data, rich cards, data highligher), and insights related to on-site and off-site links, among other reports. 

That being said, however, Google does provides some really useful insights and capabilities in the new version, and sheds some light into what digital property owners can expect from the platform once it's complete. 

The updated Index Coverage report, for example, provides insight into the indexing of URLs from a website. It shows the number of correctly indexed URLs, warnings if potential issues exist, and reasons why Google isn't indexing some URLs. The report, and really the entire new Search Console, is built on Google's new Issue tracking functionality that enables users to receive alerts when new issues are detected and helps them monitor their fix.

Google indicated that over the course of the year it would be re-introducing much of the "classic" functionlity into the new Search Console but until that is complete, both versions will live side-by-side (interconnected so you can use both).

That's good news, but perhaps most welcome by webmasters is that the new version of Search Console has 16 months of performance data, making it possible to view performance data on a year-by year basis.

Website Magazine will continue to provide updates on new reports added to Search Console in the future, but what performance data and feature is lacking now that would be beneficial to your optimizaiton efforts? 

New Google Search Console 2018