Using the New Google Search Console

new google search console guide

If you are a webmaster, SEO agency, or marketing professional then you most likely use Google Search Console.

If not, you are missing out on a really great resource to manage your website in Google’s search engine. You can see what keywords your website is ranked for, any site issues, and a number of other great tools to rank your website better in google.

But if you are familiar with Google Search Console, then you have probably noticed it looks a lot different. Google did a whole new version of the Search Console to make it more simple and accurate.

If you are wondering how to use the new Google Search Console, then you found the right guide. I am going to show you all of the features of the new Search Console by Google.

When you first log in to Google Search Console, you are direct to the dashboard page which shows your websites performance, coverage issues, and enhancements.

ninja reports search console

On the left side, there is a vertical menu that including the following sections:

Overview

Like I mentioned above, the Overview tab or dashboard will show you an overview of your website’s performance in Google search.

The performance module shows you how many clicks you get in the last 4 months.

Performance

The performance tab is probably the most important tab for SEOs and webmasters. This is where you can see the performance of your website in Google.

You can see how many clicks you got, impressions, what the CTR was and where your website’s position is for each keyword term.

google search console performance tab

You can modify the date timeframe to be the last 7 days, last 28 days, last 6 months, last 12 months, last 16 months and even a custom date. This can allow you to see large and small traffic drops over time to get an idea of why you moved up or down and how many people are coming to your site from Google.

Not only that but at the bottom, you can see which pages get the most clicks from Google and even where the user is from and what device they are on.

All really great data to learn about your visitors and their demographics.

You can even export your rankings to create Search Console reports in Excel or a number of other sources. Simply click the download data icon at the top of the Queries table.

URL Inspection

Did you know that you can get any page indexed in google in literally minutes? The new URL inspection replaced the Fetch URL tool in the old webmaster tools.

The URL inspection tool allows Google bots to instantly crawl your page  Just add a full url to one of your pages and Google will check its coverage and mobile usability.

url inspection google search console

Once it crawls the page, click the request indexing link to request Google to index your page. You will notice that within a few minutes, that URL will be indexed in Google.

To see if a URL is indexed in Google, you can just use the Google ‘site:’ Operator.

google ninja reports search

I try to make it a habit to submit your URLs when you create new pages, blog posts or landing pages. That way your pages are indexed as soon as possible.

Coverage

The coverage tab allows you to see which pages Google can or can’t index from your website, and why.

If there are any errors or issues with the coverage of your website, you can see it here.

google search console coverage tab

There are a number of reasons your website may not get indexed by Google. Here are a few:

  • Crawl anomaly
  • Excluded by ‘noindex’ tag
  • Page with redirect
  • soft 404
  • Alternative page with a canonical tag
  • Duplicate
  • Crawled – Not indexed

Any of these issues can cause your pages to not get indexed in Google. Usually, its, because the page is ‘noindex’ and your website, is purposely blocking that page.

This is common for member areas, my account pages, private areas and backend systems that you don’t want people to find in Google.

You can help this whole process by submitting your XML sitemap that shows Google all of your pages that you want to be indexed.

Sitemaps

Your sitemap is a map of all your URLs of your website and how important they are to the site.

To submit a sitemap simply add the sitemap URL into the ‘Add a new sitemap’ form, click submit and Google will process your sitemap.

google search console sitemaps

View the submitted sitemaps module to see all of the sitemaps you submitted and the status of that sitemap.

If you are using WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO plugin to generate an XML sitemap for your site. There are also manual sitemap creators that will crawl your site and create a sitemap with all of your URLs.

Mobile Usability

The mobile usability tab shows any of your pages that have mobile usability issues. Having a mobile-friendly site is now a very important ranking factor so keeping a close eye on this tab is important.

You can see any invalid pages that aren’t rendering correctly in mobile. It will tell you the issue that it found and how to fix it. Here are some of the mobile usability issues in Search Console:

  • Uses incompatible plugins
  • Viewport not set
  • Viewport not set to “device-width”
  • Content wider than screen
  • Text too small to read
  • Clickable elements too close together

Any of these mobile usability issues can affect your website’s ranking and position, so make sure everything is valid on mobile.

Links

The links page shows you all of the websites that are currently linking to your site, what link text they used and which page they are linking to.

As you may know, link building is one of the biggest SEO factors, so you want a lot of external as well as internal links.

If you are building links for clients and want to track links built, you can export all external links to keep track of backlinks built throughout time.

The ‘top linking text’ module shows the use of anchor tags in your backlinks.

Click more on any of the modules to see all links for that specific module.

Settings

Obviously, the settings tab is where you can edit ownership, users and permissions so that others can log in to check out Search Console.

This is ideal if you have clients that would like to keep a closer eye on things. You can add their email as a user so they can log in and view the data as well.

This is where you can also remove a property if you would like to no longer track it.

Switching Back to the Old Search Console

It actually IS possible (for now) to switch back to the old version of Search Console.

Simply look at the very bottom of the left menu and you will see a link to ‘Go to the old version’.

Just click this link and you will be forwarded back to the older version. I actually do this quite often because I enjoyed the old version much better than this new version. You could do so much more and see so much more data.