This January 2018, Google started sending out emails to webmasters introducing their new Search Console, to help you manage your presence on Google Search. We set out to check it out.
Since we manage a ton of websites, we've been getting all these emails with the subject line: Introducing the new Search Console for ___ website. This is what it reads:
Search Console is introducing a redesigned product to help you manage your presence on Google Search. The new Search Console was rebuilt from the ground up to provide the tools and insights that site owners and SEOs have been asking for. You can now confirm which of your pages are indexed and get information on how to fix indexing errors. You can also monitor your performance on Google Search with 16-months of data (to enable year-over-year comparisons).
We recommend checking your current status using the new Search Console today, as we will only notify you if your site data changes from the current state.
When playing with the new tool, we can see that it's a powerful reporting tool. It does a great job at offer a better visual depiction of the information interesting to webmasters. It has three main areas on dashboard: Performance, Index coverage and Enhancements. Each card takes you to that section where you can setup and view reports.
In the Performance section you can see things like total clicks, total impressions, average CTR (click through rate), average position. And it does this in a way that you can select different filters e.g. time periods, and compare it against previous. You can also filter your search type based on web, video and image, and you can compare them. This tells you what type of content is bringing visits to your site and how they perform when compares to others e.g. images vs. video, web vs. images, etc.
You can also see what queries brought you the most clicks and impressions, or what pages, or what countries or what devices. And again, you can compare it with another page or country or device. It's very cool how you can dig to interesting information.
Index coverage section shows sitemap errors and warnings Google crawler may have ran into. For example, these pages ... caused an error because the submitted URL in sitemap, was actually not found by the Google crawler. Same for redirect errors. Giving you a chance to fix your site and score points with Google.
The last section Enhancements shows certain validation errors and trends related to Breabcrumb, Corporate Contact, Carousel, Logo, Sitelinks Searchbox, Social Profile. For example, if your breadcrums are not marked up correctly you will hear about it here. Lear more here https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/search-gallery#enhancements
In conclusion, Google did an awesome job with the new tool. We encourage all webmasters to check it out and play with it. See what kind of interesting diagnostic and/or reporting you can generate. Monitoring your Google Webmaster account is important and should be done at least once a month, and on bigger e-commerce sites, even more frequent. This is one of those service we offer at i2b Global to our clients.