The Old Google Search Console is No Longer Available: Know the Ins & Outs
Over the last few years or so, you might have witnessed that Google has been changing its search console frequently. It is trying to enhance the user experience by unveiling piece after piece of its new search console. The older version of the Google search console was available but suddenly it has disappeared. It happens because Google has removed access to the older version of the search console after two years. Thus, Google has announced that they are reaching another important milestone in their journey. That’s why they have denied access to many Search Console reports including home and dashboard pages as well. So, those who are trying to access the old search console, are redirected by Google to its new Search Console Interface.
Process for Accessing Legacy Reports:
Several legacy reports that are still not migrated over or replaced in the new interface of Google search console. But, it is possible to access those reports via the ‘legacy tools and reports’ option available in the Google Search Console. Thus, you can access those reports via any of the given links:
- International Targeting
- Crawl Stats
- URL Parameters
- Web Tool
Although we have listed down the links for accessing legacy reports, it is not necessary that all of them will work fine. Thus, you will need to set up domain properties in the New Google Search Console and view your old properties.
New Google Search Console Version vs the Old One: General Improvements
- The new search console of Google offers detailed information about a specific page including canonical URL, index coverage, mobile usability, and so on.
- The constant traffic will help you to monitor, request, and fix a recrawl of pages affected by crawling issues.
- Reports and tools are improved with the new search console of Google. The new search reports of Google contain 16 months of data and is much easier to use.
- There are individual enhancement reports which enable you to recrawl fixed issues with a single click.
- New reports combine links to your site as well as internal links report. Thus, you can have a more reliable link count numbers.
- The new reports display information on old reports and crawl status information from the Google index.
- The new Search Console works flawlessly on all types of mobile devices.
- General Improvements of the New Console version over the Old One
- You can even check the manual action history, reviews request and results in the reports available with the new Google Search Console.
- The new security reports show a history of issues for your website and enable you to fix them beforehand.
- Since, the information is available in a more usable format, you can request the reindexing of pages with mobile usability issues.
Opportunities Available in the New Google Search Console:
Search Console is a robust tool to discover the problem that might affect your search engine ranking. Thus, the new version of Google Search Console is full of opportunities for SEO persons.
1. Search Appearance
A search appearance reveals the way your website appears in Google search engine results. The search appearance of your website depends upon the page title, meta description, site links, URL, site search option, event rich snippet, or product rich snippets.
2. Structured Data
Google collects and displays up to 10000 pages in a structured way on its Search Console. Graphs are available to display the number of structured data elements found on your website. You will even come to know if your website has any subsequent markup errors.
3. Data Highlighter
It is an impressive tool to implement structured data when the website’s backend is no longer accessible. Moreover, it lets you enter the information not available on a particular page of a website.
4. HTML Improvements
The new Google Search Console highlights the problems encountered while crawling your website. Thus, you can identify all common errors and flag issues like duplicate titles, missing title tags, or non-indexable content.
Sitelinks are built in features to ensure easy navigation through your website. Google automatically generated site links as shortcuts to deeper and specific pages. So, if you don’t want a particular site link for your page, then enter the correct URL to remove the link.
6. Search Traffic
Google Search Console has the Search Traffic section to provide information on the number of times a visitor land on your site for a specific keyword. Thus, you can realize the average ranking of your site for that specific keyword. If Google has taken any action against your website, then you will come to know that from the Search Traffic section. Moreover, you can visualize how the internal link structure of your website looks like.
7. Search Analytics
Search analytics was formerly known as search queries which are a useful report in Google Search Console. Moreover, it determines your website performance with respect to overall organic search traffic from Google. You will get a list of pages, most popular queries, countries, and devices.
Even filters are available to segment the traffic for a better understanding of your website’s performance. Therefore, you are free to segment the organic traffic of your website based on your business objectives. Then compare the data of each segment to identify trends and opportunities for your business.
8. Links to Your Site
It is a free alternative to premium website analytics tools. It displays the anchor text, linking domains, and the most linked-to pages. For further analysis or benchmarking, you can download the tab in your Excel document.
9. Internal Links
Internal links redirect the visitors to other pages of your website. Internal links are beneficial as they play a pivotal role in search engine rankings of your site.
10. Manual Actions
Manual actions are those actions that are taken by Google against your website. For example, Google penalties levied on your website due to some valid reasons. So, if you are penalized, then you will get tips to correct the problem as well.
11. International Targeting
International targeting lets you identify the language and geographical targeting for a particular web page. For example, choose ‘Country’ to target users in a specific country. Similarly, select the ‘unlisted’ option to inform Google that you don’t want to target a specific region. There is no need to set any specific targeting for country-specific domains.
12. Mobile Usability
The mobile-friendly website design came into action on April 21st, 2015. Hence, it is an initiative of Google to promote the development of mobile-friendly websites. Below is a list of issues faced by mobile users while visiting a website:
- Small Font
- Flash Content
- Tap Targets Too Close
- Fixed-Width Viewport
- Viewport Not Configured
- Content Not Sized to Viewport
13. Google Index
Google Index denotes the pages currently included in your Google Index so that you can remove the unnecessary URLs. Moreover, you can also analyze whether there is a consistency, increase or decrease in the index status of your web pages.
14. Content Keywords
The Content Keywords report identifies the most frequently used keywords found on your website. So, review the keywords report to ensure that the overall perception of your website is in line with the targeted keywords and business objectives.
15. Blocked Resources
Google enlists the list of pages or sections of a website blocked by robots.txt rules under ‘Blocked Resources.’
16. Remove URLs
Remove URLs is a feature of Google Search Console to remove a web page that already exists in Google Index.
17. Crawl Errors and Stats
If Google discovers an error while crawling your website, then it will be displayed under the Crawl section as well. Moreover, you can filter specific error codes like 404 or 500 to view them in separate segments. After fixing the errors, mark them as fixed so that Google cleans up the report for the future.
On the other hand, Crawl Stats states the number of pages of your website crawled during the allowable reporting period. In addition, it indicates the number of kilobytes downloaded per day and the time spent in downloading them. Hence, you will realize the potential issues in your website performance. Thus, you will get time to fix the inconsistencies instantly.
18. The Fetch as Google Feature
The fetch as Google displays the way a web page appears in Google search engine results. It is possible to avail of this feature on desktop and smartphones to view how your site performs in each category.
19. Robots.txt Tester
Robots.txt Tester is a tool to test new robots.txt markup and find out the hidden errors. Various Google crawlers like New, Images, Video, etc are available to test which URLs can be accessed and which can’t be accessed by Google.
An XML sitemap helps the search bot to discover a number of pages submitted and indexed on Google. Moreover, it also contains an error detected by Google with the last submitted sitemap.
21. URL Parameters
URL parameters indicate the way of handling parameters in your URL structure to improve Google’s crawl efficiency. So, if you exclude URL pages, then they will no longer appear in the search results.
22. Site Messages
Google Search Console sends site messages to alert you against crawl issues like malware, security issues, and more. Hence, you will get these notifications by setting up the message forwarding option for your website. Under site messages, you have site settings to set a preferred domain by verifying ownership of both the domains. Besides site settings, the change of address feature enables you to move your primary website to a new domain.
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