In our latest episode of Industry Spotlight, the team discuss their thoughts on Google’s new update to its Search Console tool. Why not subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest industry news and tips?
See below for a full transcription of the video.
Lee: Okay, so Google Webmaster Console has been in the news recently for a refresh, although it’s rolling out in beta. It’s limited functionality. It’s basically a new front-end and the main features that come out of that are…you get access to 16 months’ worth of data, which is unheard of, which is something webmasters have been looking for for years. Which means you can do year-on-year analysis, which is really, really useful from a marketing perspective and something that has not existed up until this point. One of the other main benefits is the level of reporting with AMP pages. So, they will now show you detailed information on what AMP-specific errors you’ve got on your site and give you a bit more information on how to fix them, which is going to be something that they’re obviously going to continue to push as mobile continues to grow and continues to dominate in terms of traffic.
So, it’s a fairly new update. It’s something that you’ll probably find yourself still using the old version at this stage. But it’s nice to know that they’re making strides and they’re actually acknowledging that SEOs need some of that resource, which is unheard of.
Jamie: It seems to be getting to the tail end of the legacy apps now in terms of the refreshing, because you can tell straight away by looking at a Google app, can’t you? Or a Google web app.
You just look at the UI and… I mean, with Search Console, especially, it’s the new one. It’s got all the material design and stuff.
Chris: They’ve aligned them all, though, even if you look at the full Google stack of products now and the suite like Analytics and Optimize and Data and all those platforms. Now, they’ve adopted the same sort of thing. So, they’re indistinguishable, basically. They pretty much look the same across. It’s a good refresh to be fair because the design of it’s much better as well.
Jamie: Do you reckon this is going to usurp any of Google’s existing suite of tools? Like, I know you mentioned AMP errors and stuff. They’ve already got an AMP error checker separate on there but like they’ve got a rich snippet error checker. Are those tools getting merged in or are they separate?
Lee: I think long-term, yeah. Probably. I think it’ll all sit under one roof but I think in the short-term, they’ve got too much to deal with for it all to happen at once.
Jamie: For me, it would be better. It’s all part of Analytics anyway. It’s all essentially the same, not the same data but it’s very, very similar and there is a bit of overlap there.
Chris: Well, you can access the console data from analytics as well, can’t you? It’s just not as pretty as what you get in the dashboard. But, yeah, you’re right. They should just put it in the suite with all the other products that they’ve got in there now.
Jamie: Yeah. It seems like Webmaster Tools, correct me if I’m wrong, was a tool that was available for Analytics from years ago.
Lee: There’s things like fetch and render and robots.txt testing and things like that, that won’t exist in analytics, which I think is why it probably remains separate. But, yeah. You can get a level of data. But I think as the integration gets better and they move to this new design, more features will become available in Analytics.
Jamie: Yeah it’s been long overdue. A lot of people are excited about that.
Chris: I feel like it was really far down on the agenda.
Lee: Yeah. It didn’t make them any money, did it? Technically.
Chris: Exactly. That’s why they prioritize things like AdWords and Analytics because then you get a feel for it and you might invest in the 360 packages that they offer as well. So, it’s a big upsell sort of thing as well, isn’t it really?