SEO optimization

The largest Google Search Console update in recent years

The largest Google Search Console update in 2018

Google Search Console is undoubtedly the most important Google official tool to extract data from an SEO campaign!

If you do not already have an account with Google Search Console, we recommend that you create one as quickly as possible.

It’s free, and the information you provide is essential to optimizing your site.

On January 8, Google officially announced the release of a new version of this tool, which it started offering limited access from August 2017.

Even after the announcement date, the new options were not immediately accessible to all sites confirmed in Google Search Console, which we could see directly, as we have access to over 300 such accounts within Promo SEO for the SEO campaigns I manage.

Although the new version is not yet accessible to everyone, I have been able to see enough examples to see the new opportunities the application now offers.

In this article I will make a brief review of the most important of them, in my view:

1. Historical data for the last 12 months

Until now, perhaps the most common limitation in Google Search Console was the restriction of the data available over the past 90 days.

In the new interface, this limit was extended to 16 months.

This is especially important as we can now see the SEO evolution of the site over a longer period of time, including seasonality.

The image below reflects such a view, for one of my clients.

Website performance

A secondary benefit is that we can now compare the site’s performance with Google’s organic results over the past 3 months, with the same period last year.

We thus notice much easier the effect of SEO actions taken, as well as new optimization opportunities:

organic results

The new interface still offers the possibility to filter these data according to the type of search.

Also to sort the results based on a variety of criteria, such as: keywords, impressions, clicks, CTR, landing pages, geographic areas, equipment on which searches were made, etc.

Unfortunately, the export option is limited to 1,000 items, but there are solutions to take over the data from Google Search Console.

2. New Section: Index Coverage

Available in a much more basic form in the old interface, this report now brings a particularly useful perspective on how Google perceives our site.

Basically, the report displays the evolution of the number of pages with errors, pages with warnings, or pages blocked by indexing, but provides a breakdown of why these pages fit into a particular category.

The report also provides examples of URLs from the site for each type of error, which makes it easier to identify problems and solve them.

A useful option is to limit the results to URLs in the Sitemap only.

Also, when you click on a reason (at the bottom of the screen), quick access to the ability to perform checks is offered. the robots.txt file, view how Google reads the page, send the URL to the Google index, etc.

In the next period, we will publish on the Promo SEO blog a material dedicated to the types of errors reported by Google Search Console in this report.

There is currently no complete Google documentation on this subject.

Examples of such a report from the new Google Search Console:

New Section: Index Coverage

3. Improvements for AMP pages

The third priority for Google in the new Search Console interface is given by AMP – pages built on technology dedicated to improving the upload speed and user experience on mobile terminals.

More about AMP technology in dedicated materials, previously posted on the Promo-SEO blog.

The new reports provide insights into how Google perceives the implementation of AMP from the site (what crawling errors are).

In addition to Index Coverage options, the official Google blog post says that we will be able to review some implementations here so that we get a quick confirmation of their validity.

For the time being, the report is only active for some of the implemented AMP sites in the DWF portfolio.

According to Google, this option will gradually become available for all accounts.

More details about this report are available here.

The Google Search Console Update is especially useful and it will certainly make a very visible contribution to SEO in the coming years.

Existing relationships bring more transparency from Google, which is a gratifying experience for us.

So we can better understand what “the search engine wants” and how we can better optimize our sites, so we can increase their visibility into organic Google results and make them more valuable.

In a world where there are already a lot of tools for any type of marketing activity (or SEO, in the present case), we often see different values for the same metrics, often leading to difficult situations reconciled.

Although Google is itself directly responsible for some of these situations (eg by progressively limiting access to search volume data from Google Keyword Planner), Search Console remains the tool without which an SEO campaign modern is unthinkable.

The new Google Search Console will run in parallel with the current version for a while as Google engineers have not yet migrated all the functionality on the new system. To access the new version (if available for your account), please access the address directly here: