The In’s and Out’s of the “New” Google Search Console
Still struggling with the new Google Search Console? While the new and improved version has been officially out of beta since September 2018, you’re not alone.
Although a large number of tools are the same as the old interface (with a sleeker design), and some have yet to even be built out, there are a few new reports that are definitely worth checking out.
1) Index Coverage Report
Probably the most exciting rollout in the new GSC is their creation of the Index Coverage report. This all-encompassing tool helps you to determine any pages that are not being indexed but should be, and vice versa. Outside of that, it can help users find additional technical pain points, such as incorrect NoIndex tags, status code errors, canonical issues, and more.
To learn even more about report specifics, check out our Index Coverage guide.
2) URL Inspection
Along the same lines as the Index Coverage feature, the URL Inspection tool is a great way to look at indexation on a page-by-page basis. Simply enter in a URL to determine if Google is indexing it and if it’s included in the XML sitemap, or if it’s not, the reasons as to why.
While this tool isn’t exactly scalable sitewide, it’s a great way to figure out why certain pages may be seeing a decrease in performance.
Since this tool was, of course, a part of the old Google Search Console, we won’t discuss it in too much detail, but there is a very exciting update. As opposed to the old report showing 3 months of data at a time, the new Performance report can show historical data up to 16 months! Big news, we know.
Use this report to report on clicks, impressions, average positions, and CTR of your top queries and pages, as well as breakdowns by device, location, and more.
If you have Event schema markup anywhere on your site, the new GSC allows you to pinpoint any issues Google has with crawling this structured data, likely because of necessary data missing.
Last but not least, we have the Links tool. There was a similar tool within the old GSC that allows you to check out your most linked content and who is linking to your site the most. The new report now breaks this data out even further by showing most internally vs. externally linked pages.
So what can you do with this data?
The new Search Console tools give you more insights. For example, you can give your less linked content the boost it needs by internally linking these pages in your highest performers. You can also quickly improve your backlink profile by determining and disavowing links that are spammy or unsafe in nature.
Go forth and play around with these new reports! You won’t regret it.
Courtney Culligan is a DePaul University graduate, but she still loves cheering on her home state’s baseball team. (The Minnesota twins, obviously.) Her dream birthday present might include a German Shepard and a trip to Japan.