Google Search Console
A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console
27/11/2018
Link Building
A Beginner’s Guide to Building Links
04/12/2018

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Google Search Console

A Beginner’s Guide to the new Google Search Console

 

This article will be discussing the NEW features of the console and how they can be used. I STRONGLY recommend looking at my Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console article where I provide an in-depth, yet easy to read walk through of the old console and all of its features.

 

I think it would be really helpful for your learning if you open up the Google Search Console here. It would be best if you open the old version and the new one. This way you can go through and actually experience it for yourself. It would be great for you to play around with the tools and get used to them.

 

In the first guide I tried to stick to a bullet point format in order to make it easy to take notes from and I intend to stick to a similar format for this guide too. So, with your notebooks at the ready let’s get stuck in.

First Glance

First Glance

So at first glance we can see that the new Google Search Console looks great. The interface is cleaner. I love the colour scheme (so happy that purple managed to make it). Everything looks fresh and up-to-date whilst the old console does look a bit dated. However, for old Google Search Console users, it does seem familiar. It isn’t so shocking of a change that we have to start from scratch.

 

Overview

  • The navigation bar to the left allows you to easily navigate through the Google Search Console as the previous one did.
  • The overview panel replaces the dashboard panel and just as it did before, it now shows some key reports that you can quickly glance at and open up.

 

Performance

  • Performance panel now replaces the search analytics panel.
  • New colour scheme is great and easy to read.

  • One of the best new features is that you can now compare filters.

Comparing google search console

  • This can be extremely powerful when you want to compare how your website is performing for different keywords and which ones to focus on in your SEO strategy.

comparing keywords

  • You can also compare the performance for different countries, pages, devices and search appearances. This can be really useful if you want to measure in which countries your website is performing the best or whether your website performs best on mobile or desktop.

  • Graphs are displayed neatly and the actual figures are shown side-by-side when comparing making it really easy to read.
  • What’s more is that you can compare two keywords for example and then compare how they perform in different countries and for different devices. On top of that you can compare how pages perform for both of the keywords.

comparing keywords for different countries

  • You can now look at data as far back as 16 months ago.

Age of data

  • The button to export/download is now a lot more visible. Some of you old ‘search consolers’ may not have even noticed the old one hidden at the bottom!

Download button google search console

 

URL Inspection Tool

  • Now there is a nice big search bar at the top of every page which allows you to enter any URL on your website and inspect it.

URL Inspection tool

  • This will provide you with information on:
    • Whether a page is indexed or not.
    • Accelerated mobile page errors.
    • Structural data issues.
    • Indexing issues.
  • This is really useful if you want to quickly inspect a URL.

  • From here you can also check if a URL can be indexed via inspection and the you can request it to be indexed via a one page crawl. This is an extremely powerful tool to get your pages indexed quickly!

 

Index

Coverage

  • This panel will show you any crawl errors found when Google crawls your website. This replaces the ‘crawl errors’ and ‘crawl stats’ panels from the old Google Search Console.

coverage google search console

  • Here you can view the index status of your web pages. This is great so you can see if your website is being indexed and locate any problems that are causing some of your web pages to not be indexed.
    • ‘Valid’ are pages that have been indexed.
    • ‘Excluded’ are pages that have not been indexed but are most likely intentionally so.
    • ‘Valid with warnings’ are indexed pages that have issues and Google are unsure whether they are intentional.
    • ‘Errors’ are pages that couldn’t be indexed due to an error.
  • On the details tab underneath the main coverage tab you can click on each error.

coverage google search console

  • This will take you to a page that will describe the error.
  • It will also tell you the affected URLs and list them.

coverage google search console

  • If you then click on the URLs you can now see options to ‘inspect URL’, ‘Test Robots.txt’ and ‘view as a search result’. So if you were wondering where those toggles had gone from the old Google Search Console; here they are! If you are unsure what these toggles do, please refer back to my first article.

coverage google search console

 

Sitemaps

  • Here you can see the sitemaps that Google has found on your site and submit new ones.

sitemaps

  • Sitemap URL is the URL where the sitemap is posted.
  • Type of sitemap can be one of either:
    • Normal sitemap
    • Sitemap Index – a sitemap of sitemaps.
    • Unknown – an unknown type or hasn’t been processed yet.
  • Shows when the sitemap is submitted.
  • When the sitemap was last read by Google.
  • The status of the sitemap which is either:
    • Successful.
    • Has issues.
    • Couldn’t be fetched.
  • The last piece of information is the number of URLs in the sitemap.
  • You can then click onto each submitted sitemap to see a report of any errors found and whether it was successful in being crawled and indexed.

sitemaps

 

sitemaps

 

Mobile Usability

  • This panel is similar to the old Google Search Console panel.

mobile usability

  • In this panel any issues found with mobile usability will be listed

  • You can the click on ‘details’ to view any errors and find what you have to fix. 

  • After seeing which URLs you have to fix from clicking on details, you can then click on the URL.

 

  • After clicking on the URL a panel will open up on the right hand side. In the panel you will be able to select ‘test live page’.

mobile usability

  • Once you are done fixing, click ‘validate fixing’ to quickly get it crawled.

mobile usability

  • Mobile usability is really important for SEO as Google prefer mobile friendly sites to ones that aren’t. Also users just don’t want to use your site if it looks terrible on their device and thus increase bounce rate.

 

Links

  • Links page is now laid out very neatly. It now combines the external and internal link panels to remove clutter from the navigation bar at the side.

Backlinks google search console

  • From here you can see an overview of your top linked pages for internal and external links.
  • You can also see the sites that are backlinking the most and the anchor text. Bonus tip: anchor text is the text used to link back to your site.
  • You can click on any of these sub panels to gain a more in-depth view of it.

 

Thanks for reading my beginner’s guide to the new Google Search Console. As said before, I really recommend that you check out my first article on the old Google Search Console. The old console overlaps with the new in almost every area. In the article I give an in-depth but easy to read description of what each feature does. So take a look!

 

Now you know the basics about both search consoles, it’s time to master them. However, it takes a really long time to perfect the use of these tools and it can be really tricky. There is a lot of data to look at which can lead to confusion. This is when mistakes are made that can be a detriment to your website. Accelerate Agency have a team of experts who have spent years mastering these tools. Don’t be scared to ask for help, because it might just save your website! If you feel like you need some advice or want us to take care of this tricky tool to boost your growth then contact us.

0117 3361103