NEW GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE · 10-MINUTE READ · By Misty Faucheux on February 6 2018.
For years, Google has been striving to be the most-used platform for search analytics. Their free tools are used in one form or another by nearly every marketer in the industry. To continue their domination of said market, they recently released an update to their Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) platform. Marketers have been eagerly diving into the update to see how they can leverage this newest version. To help you, we’ve broken down the new features and how you can use them in your own reports.
The New Google Search Console Updates
According to Google, the new Search Console reports offer “more transparency into Google’s indexing, stateful two-way communications between Google and website owners to help resolve issues faster, and a responsive user-interface.”
The major updates come in four key areas:
- Index coverage report
- More in-depth search performance data
- AMP page status
- Job performance
This article will tell you more about those key updates, how to successfully use them updates to your advantage and where reporting Search Console’s data with Supermetrics can come in handy.
The Index Coverage report is an updated version of the current Index Status report. This report allows you to see data about URLs that Google has attempted to index. The new report shows you even more information. For example, the system will now automatically send you an alert if there is an indexing error. No more having to remember to log into the system to discover that there are issues. It’s also designed to help you diagnose the error via a variety of diagnostic tools and to help you better understand what the problem is. Once you dig into the issue, you can then share this data with your team – streamlining communication.
This has always been the section in which many marketers have been most interested. Here, you can see a breakdown of how your site performs in search results, including obtaining information on average position, current position, clicks, click through rate and how often your site shows up in search. Google is now providing more in-depth information and has expanded the available back-dated data to up to 16 months from 90 days.
You can also see information on countries and devices from which you are receiving traffic.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are pages designed to load extremely fast. Google has made AMPs a priority for search over the past few years. It’s not surprising that they’ve added the AMP status section to Search Console. This report showcases how well these pages are performing, how they are displayed and if there are any errors on the page. Any issues that Google does discover will be grouped together, and it will provide information on how to fix them.
Search Console will provide you with a total count of the AMP pages that it has found on your site. If you find a discrepancy in the count, you’ll have to follow some steps to fix this problem.
As mentioned, Google is trying to get its hands into everything. So, it’s not surprising that they’ve added a way for you to list your job postings on Google via Search Console. This feature doesn’t seem to be available yet, but it’s coming out soon. While it might initially seem strange to be able to post your job openings via Search Console, the purpose of having this feature here is that you will also be able to monitor the performance of listings – almost like an ad.
The job postings status report will only be available to you if Google has found “JobPosting rich results” on your website.
What If It’s Not Available for Me Yet?
Relax. The new Search Console has been rolling out pretty slowly over the past few weeks. In fact, I’ve been getting the below emails for my accounts at different times throughout the past couple of weeks.
I suspect that it will take at least a month or so before Google gets around to updating all the different accounts. So, be patient. Also, as you notice, the email still says that this is a “beta” version. In fact, I had one section that still says “coming soon”. There might even be more changes as marketers provide feedback to Google and as they add new features.
How Can You Use the Platform to Your Advantage?
If you’re one of the lucky ones who do have access, you’ve probably already been diving into the reports. But, you might be wondering how to incorporate the new numbers into your reports – and even what you should be focusing on in these reports? Both versions of the Search Console will be available, so users can always switch back to the classic one if they still want to use the old features.
One of the best features to come out of this new version is the ability to share information on critical errors with your team. In the past, you had to download the errors and send them via email, creating a longer communication/fix cycle – and that is of course if your intended recipient even saw the email. Now, you can simply give access to the team so that they can see the error, expediting fixes. If at any time you no longer wish a team member to have access, it’s also extremely easy to remove them. For SEO marketers, this is a key leg up in getting major errors fixed by developers.
Another advantage of the Search Console over the old is the Search Performance report. The old Search Analytics report only had 90 days’ worth of data, meaning comparing current performance with previous performance past the 90 days was difficult. To ensure that you were capturing old data, you had to remember to download the reports on at least a monthly or quarterly basis. Now, we can easily compare year-over-year data to determine if marketing efforts are having an impact on stats.
Some of the data may not be applicable to you, i.e. the job postings report or if you don’t have AMP pages currently running. The rest should make your life slightly easier, especially in terms of communication and expanded data. It still doesn’t hurt to download your data on regular basis. Despite the expanded time frame, Search Console metrics will still disappear after 16 months, and many times, we need to go back further.
In order to avoid losing old data you can accumulate it in spreadsheets with the help of Supermetrics Add-on. After you launch the add-on, choose Google Search Console from the list of data sources.
After selecting which metrics you would like to report on, you have to click “Combine new results with old”, so that the old data will not get overwritten.
The other benefits of reporting with Supermetrics are that the GSC metrics can be split by multiple dimensions, which allows you to dig deeper into the data. In addition, you can combine Search Console results with data from 30+ other different platforms, which helps get a much better picture of your reporting.
And in case you want to learn how to create advanced Search Engine Keyword Rank Tracking Reports with Supermetrics add-on, follow this great step-by-step guide!
If you still don’t have all the available features, again, have some patience. The old Search Console still offers a lot of data that you may even want to continue to use in the future.
About Misty Faucheux
Misty Faucheux is an Integrated Online Marketing Specialist at Faucheux Enterprises and a guest writer for Supermetrics. She is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, SEM, content marketing/writing and social ads. Misty helps companies develop a cohesive online marketing strategy that directly addresses their overall business goals and objectives. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Flickr.