Google Search Console has graduated out of beta after a year of testing from users. Google had conducted a full open beta invite to all Google users, in order to get as much feedback on the updated system as possible, according to a Tuesday blog post from Google.
The Search Console is a free service Google offers to help track and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results. Users don't need to sign up for their sites to be included in search results, but signing up helps users see how their sites are viewed on Google and lets them optimize performance.
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With its new updates, the Google Search Console provides an accurate view of page content with the Index Coverage report, said the post. Users can also review Search Analytics going back 16 months in the Performance report. Through the Links report, the console shows information about links pointing towards a user's site. And the URL Inspection Tool lets users gather obtain crawling, indexing, and specific information about any URL from the Google index, according to the blog post. The post also mentioned the addition of a better alerting procedure, "fixed it" flows, and simplified sitemaps and account settings management.
The two most exciting features, however, are Google Search Console's manual actions section and URL inspection tool.
In an effort to help users not miss any critical alerts, both active manual actions and security issues will now be directly displayed in the Overview page, said the post. Also, the Manual Actions report has gotten a cleaner, fresher makeover, in which users can review pending Manual Actions or file a reconsideration request, added the post.
The URL inspection tool now lets you inspect the live version of the webpage, which is great for debugging and fixing issues in a page or seeing if a problem is still active in a page, said the post. Before the update, users would have to run tests based on the previous time the URL was indexed.
While Google Search Console is out of beta, not all the features are included yet. The post explained that most common use cases are supported with the update, and when a feature is added, Google will include a message informing users. The old system is still available, so users are free to switch between the old and new versions as they please.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- The Google Search Console is finally out of beta after more than a year of testing, in which alerting procedures, sitemaps, and account management were all improved.
- The most exciting updates are the Manual Actions and URL Inspection in live mode, both of which help users locate and check for site problems.
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Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.