Google Search Console Update | January 2019
Over the last year, Google’s new Search Console has been growing and growing, with the goal of making it easier for site owners to focus on the important tasks. For Google, focus means being able to put in all our work into the new Search Console, being committed to the users, and with that, being able to turn off some of the older, perhaps already-improved, aspects of the old Search Console. This gives Google space to further build out the new Search Console, adding and improving features over time.
Here are some of the upcoming changes in Search Console Google are planning on making towards end of March, 2019:
Crawl errors in the new Index Coverage report
One of the more common pieces of feedback Google received was that the list of crawl errors in Search Console was not actionable when it came to setting priorities (it’s normal that Google crawls URLs which don’t exist, it’s not something that needs to be fixed on the website). By changing the focus on issues and patterns used for site indexing, Google believe that site owners will be able to find and fix issues much faster (and when issues are fixed, you can request reprocessing quickly too). With this, Google are going to remove the old Crawl Errors report – for desktop, smartphone, and site-wide errors.
Along with the Crawl Errors report, Google are also deprecating the crawl errors API that’s based on the same internal systems. At the moment, they don’t have a replacement for this API.
Sitemaps data in Index Coverage
As Google move forward with the new Search Console, they are turning the old sitemaps report off. The new sitemaps report has most of the functionality of the old report, and they are aiming to bring the rest of the information – specifically for images & video – to the new reports over time. Moreover, to track URLs submitted in sitemap files, within the Index Coverage report you can select and filter using your sitemap files. This makes it easier to focus on URLs that you care about.
Using the URL inspection tool to fetch as Google
User-management is now in settings
Google have improved the user management interface and decreased clutter from the tool by merging it with the Settings section of the new Search Console. This replaces the user-management features in the old Search Console.
Structured data dashboard to dedicated reports per vertical
To help you implement Rich Results for you site, they added several reports to the new Search Console last year. These include Jobs, Recipes, Events and Q&A. Google are committed to keep adding reports like these to the new Search Console. When Google encounters a syntax error parsing Structured Data on a page, it will also be reported in aggregate to make sure you don’t miss anything critical.
Other Structured Data types that are not supported with Rich Results features, will not be reported in Search Console anymore. They hope this reduces distraction from non-critical issues, and help you to focus on fixing problems which could be visible in Search.
Letting go of some old features
With the focus on features that we believe are critical to site owners, they have had to make a hard decision to drop some features in Search Console. In particular:
HTML suggestions – finding short and duplicated titles can be useful for site owners, but Google’s algorithms have gotten better at showing and improving titles over the years. We still believe this is something useful for sites to look into, and there are some really good tools that help you to crawl your website to extract titles & descriptions too.
Property Sets – while they’re loved by some site owners, the small number of users makes it hard to justify maintaining this feature. However, users need a more comprehensive view of their website and so they will soon add the option of managing a search console account over an entire domain (regardless of schema type and sub-domains). Stay tuned!
Android Apps – most of the relevant functionality has been moved to the Firebase console over the years.