Looking for your Google Webmaster Tools? They’re now called “Search Console.”
The tools you know and love (if you do in fact know and love your webmaster tools) are all still there, but the set up is a little more friendly.
My theory was that Google had noticed that lots of people besides professional webmasters were using those tools, and sure enough, that’s exactly how they’ve explained the new tools. However, they’re also making updates frequently, including some new tools for apps.
If you haven’t tried the Search Console yet, come along on a quick tour.
Your dashboard quickly shows you any crawl errors (those green check marks mean that our lab site has none) and your total clicks, as well as any new and important messages.
Let’s move down the left-hand sidebar.
Next after Dashboard (which is what you’re already looking at) comes the Messages section. If you’ve been using Webmaster Tools, you might have noticed that your messages are no longer just curt warnings that you have more not-found errors than usual. Now you get friendly messages telling you how to share access to your new website with your coworkers and tips on improving your search presence. In general, however, Google sends you a message when you have a problem: malware, mobility issues, stuff like that. Don’t ignore the messages.
Next comes Search Appearance. These tools allow you to check a variety of things that might be going on with your website. You might have errors in your structured data, for example. If so, your chart should look more exciting than ours. Of course, ours also shows what slackers we’ve been over at the lab site.
Google will also suggest improvement in your HTML. Our lab site apparently has a couple of items with the same title.
Clicking through, I see that we have both a post and a download with the title “Jack in the Beanstalk.” Just think how long it could have taken us to realize that on our own!
So far there is not much difference from the old Webmaster Tools, but the Search Traffic section has changed quite a bit with the addition of the Search Analytics report, which is currently still in beta. You can look at different metrics individually or in groups just by checking one or more boxes. This makes it easier to find answers to specific questions you might have.
Within the Search Traffic section you will still find information on links and information on any Manul Actions (penalties) you might have received. You can also set up international targeting or check whether your site is responsive. We have nothing going on there, so there’s no point in sharing screenshots.
The Google Index section shows you how many of your site’s pages are indexed (you want to see a nice upward-tending line there) along with the keywords Google thinks should bring people to your website.
Crawl helps you make sure that your site can be crawled and Security Issues tells you if you have any security issues. Again, our pages in those sections are boring. The Other Resources, a fairly new tab, lists other Google help.
If you haven’t visited your webmaster tools for a while, check out the new stuff!