Complete guide to “newer” new Google Search Console

No, the heading has no typo.

The new Search Console has had updates recently.

In this post, I’ll go through the tool – all of it.

Let’s begin!

Now, why do you need Google Search Console?

Is it that you need your site to get indexed by Google?

You may say, yes, but you don’t actually need Console for that.

Google will crawl your site even though you are not on Console.

So then why register?

2 main reasons

1. Your site will get indexed faster – else it would still get indexed, but would take longer.

2. You get search insights which you would not have access to, otherwise.

Once you log in to the Console, you will see the below Homepage.

search console homepage

If you want to register your domain, then choose the “domain” option.

What does this mean?

Domain, here means your URL without ”www.”.

If your site name is www.example.com, domain here is example.com.

If you choose “domain” option, it means all your domains and sub-domains will be under one property.

So, by entering example.com in the “domain” option,

All the below will be consolidated

“www.example.com”

“https://www.example.com”

“http://www.example.com”

“https://example.com”

“http://example.com”

So that part is now easier.

In the option, type your domain as below.

domain option

Click “Continue”.

You will get the below window.

verify domain

Here, copy the code and paste it in your DNS hosting provider site.

If you are using services from GoDaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost etc, you can check with them for this.

It is a pretty easy process. Should not take more than a few minutes.

Once you add the link, click “verify”.

You should get the below window.

ownership verified

If you don’t, wait for some time.

It should get verified.

Now,

The other “URL prefix” option is when you want to track your domain and sub-domain separately.

Here, add the entire link as below

URL option

Click “Continue”.

You will get the below window.

other options

Unlike the first domain method, here you have many options to verify your site.

1. HTML file

Here you download the small file add it to the site backend.

html file

The other options are

2. HTML tag

You can add this code to your site header in the backend.

html tag

If you are using WordPress, you can do so with two methods.

The first and the simpler one is to add the code to your Yoast plugin as below.

yoast seo

The second one is to actually add the code in the HTML version.

Go to your theme editor.

theme editor

And select header.php file.

theme header

You will see the HTML template-version of your site.

With the header and body tags.

Add the code in the header section.

I won’t go into the other three methods.

You can check if you want to, all are pretty easy to work on.

Now, coming to the Console.

Once you select the property (site version), you will get the below dashboard.

dashboard

There are various reports and sections here as you can see on the left side.

left side drop down

I’ll go through it – one by one.

Earlier, there was an option to go the older version, but not anymore.

link to the older version

The new Console still has a few reports connecting to the older one.

But they will be phased out eventually.

1. Overview

overview

This has three main reports.

1.1 Performance (with number of clicks)

1.2 Coverage ( valid pages and errors)

1.3 Enhancements (schema)

We’ll go through them later.

2. Performance

performance

The top report is on clicks, impressions, average CTR and average search position.

This will you give a general idea or a good starting point to check site status.

You can click on each of the parameters to have the numbers added on to the graph.

After adding all, it will look like this.

pereformance all parameters added

In the top left corner, you have the Search Type.

This is for web, image and video.

On your site.

search type

You can also compare these in the sub-section.

search type compare

Then you have the date range.

Google recently updated the date-breaks in the date range (Last 7 days, 28 days etc).

And the big update.

You can get same-day data.

It will be rolled out soon.

date range perfromance

You can also add other factors to this graph.

Click on “new” next to the date to get the below.

new options perfromance

Scroll down on the page.

You will get all the queries for which your site was shown and clicked.

performance queries

This is an ignored goldmine.

To get new untapped keywords.

Scan this list regularly to check for new keywords.

Which you can then add to your site.

Click on Pages, Countries, Devices and other reports to get the respective data.

Also, use Google trends in conjunction with this to get more insights.

3. URL inspection

As the name states, this will “inspect” the current status of your URL.

If there is no error, you will get the below report.

url inspection report

If you have just published a page or a post,

You can request an index so that this can be done faster.

Click “request indexing” on the above URL inspection page.

You can also test a live URL by clicking on “Test live URL”.

This is generally done for important or urgent pages that need to be promoted or propagated faster.

4. Coverage

An easy way to check for index or crawl issues and warnings.

You can see the error here.

coverage

Scroll down you get the details.

coverage error

It has a no-index issue.

Now, not all errors shown on Console would be errors.

Like, if you add a no-index tag to confidential pages, it might show up here as blocked.

Which is fine.

If you click on the error, you can see the error in more detail.

Once you fix the error, you can validate it.

5. Sitemaps

I don’t have to tell you that this is a must.

You need to create a  sitemap and submit it here for Google to crawl through.

Even better if you can add an image sitemap as below.

sitemaps

You can see the “Success” status.

6. Removals

This will quickly remove a URL along with outdated content temporarily – for 6 months.

removals

7. Products

This refers to the “ Schema” – if you have added site navigation schema or not.

The fact that this option is seen is proof that you have.

Example of a breadcrumb schema as below.

breadcrumb schemas

To add, you can add schema using three methods: JSON-LD, Microdata or RDFA.

Here is an example of JSON-LD script which is the most widely used one.

JSON-LD example

Product schema as below with the title, description, reviews, rating, price etc.

product schema

8. Logos (from the older version)

Again, this is for Logo schema or Sitelinks search box.

Example of Logo Schema in JSON-LD.

logo schema

Example of Sitelink search schema as follows.

sitelink search schemas

To learn more about schemas, click here.

9. Unparsable structured data (from the older version)

Any parsing issues or syntax issues in the schema will be displayed here.

unparsable

10.Manual actions

This relates to any security issues which can be rectified manually.

If you get the below you are good to go 😊.

manual actions

11. Security issues

Same with security issues.

security issues

12. International targeting

This is about the website language.

If you use multiple languages, as in if you have an English version and say Arabic version,

You need to use the “hreflang” tag to specify Google about the language being used on the site.

This section will take you to the older Search console.

international targeting

13. Crawl stats

The number of pages crawled per day will be found here.

crawl stats

14. Messages

Any message Google wants to convey regarding the site issues or updates or informing the owner will be here.

messages

15. URL parameters

This for duplicate URLs that have different extra parameters.

But they basically lead to the same page.

Like below:

url parameters

You can see that the above 2 links are basically the same but have different parameters of category and color.

If you have many links like that, it is better if you inform Google of the parameters to avoid duplicate crawling.

16. Web tools

This is a report on how good your site is with respect to content and site layout – to the users.

web tools

If you click on “other resources”, you get the list of all the major Google platforms that you need to use for better website performance.

web tools other resources

17. Links

Internal and external links and linked text report can be found here.

links

18. Settings

Finally, the data on site verification, users, permissions etc can be viewed here.

settings

Conclusion

Google Search Console is changing.

The older version will phase away.

The new version will have many more features to come.

So using the Console has become more important than ever.

It is too important to be ignored – for the data it provides.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *