Changes to Google Search Console

Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) has been updated various times over the years, and it looks like further improvements are on the horizon again, as recently announced by Google. The changes have been categorised into the following groups: Insights, Organisational Workflow and Feedback Loops. Google is also working on adding some Beta features, which are said to cover reporting on indexed pages and AMP, which Google is currently inviting people to test.

Insights

Google's new Insights feature will identify any obstacles to the optimal crawling and indexation of website pages and will also allow related tasks to be created through Google Search Console to monitor site presence on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The Insights tool also has functionality to submit requests to Google for websites to be re-evaluated after fixes have been made. Overall, it's a useful tool when communicating issues to web developers (via a shared platform) and when looking to speed up implementation processes.

Organisational Workflow

The Organisational Workflow changes in the pipeline will allow tasks to be created and enable users to share tickets with other members within Google Search Console, easing SEO work streams. Such features exist in other software platforms, however tying that functionality into Google Search Console will help streamline day-to-day internal processes.

Feedback Loops

Feedback Loop changes will solve one of the main obstacles when working within Google Search Console: the time lag needed to re-crawl a site before the source code updates are shown. The amendments to Feedback Loops will allow an instant preview of re-crawled sites after source code amendments have been made while also allowing feedback to be made on proposed code changes.

New Beta Features

Two features, the Index Coverage report and the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) fixing flow, are said to be released depending on Beta test users' feedback.

With regards to the Index Coverage report, let' see what Google noted:

"The new Index Coverage report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps."

On the other hand, the AMP fixing flow will allow users to identify and solve any problems in their AMP code and to receive instant verification of the completed fix. Google's Search Console improvements seem to focus on two main aspects: providing more information on issues (rather than just flagging them) and providing tools to quickly test and verify changes, while also encouraging more communication on the platform.

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