Google has recently announced that they have been working on adding two “experimental features” into Google Search Console – the Index Coverage report and AMP Fixing Flow report.
Details of this announcement can be found on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (commonly referred to as GSA) is a free tool provided by Google that anyone from a webmaster, marketing team or web developer can use to gain actionable insights into their website’s performance.
Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, GSA currently provides a range of different reports aimed at providing insight into how Google sees your site. These reports range from the Search Traffic reports that give you information on what search terms your site it appearing for in the organic search results; to Crawl status reports where you can monitor any crawl errors that need to be addressed eg. Realising you have an increasing amount of 404 (Not Found) pages appearing across your site.
Even though many sites make use of Google Analytics (another free tool offered by Google), GSC is often overlooked, and the value unrealised. It won’t take you long to get set up with GSC, and soon after you’ll be collecting data and you can take advantage of the wealth of information it offers within a few days.
What new features can we expect to see in Google Search Console?
1. Index Coverage Report
Google provides the following information about the Index Coverage Report:
“The new Index Coverage report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps.”
GSC currently provides high level information on your site’s ‘Index Status’, however this new Index Coverage Report will provide a deeper level of detail, and will also provide help and tips of how to fix any issues. Having this extra level of detail is always very useful when speaking with clients and developers who will need to understand exactly what the issue is so that it can be fixed appropriately.
2. AMP Fixing Flow Report
Google provides the following information about the AMP Fixing Flow Report:
“The new AMP fixing experience starts with the AMP Issues report. This report shows the current AMP issues affecting your site, grouped by the underlying error. Drill down into an issue to get more details, including sample affected pages. After you fix the underlying issue, click a button to verify your fix, and have Google recrawl the pages affected by that issue. Google will notify you of the progress of the recrawl, and will update the report as your fixes are validated.”
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a way in which publishers can show a mobile optimised version of their pages which results in quicker page load time and overall a better experience for users. You may already have noticed these pages in your mobile search results – AMP pages are marked with ‘AMP’ and the lightning bolt logo. Being able to identify and diagnose AMP related issues will be a welcome addition to the existing Google Search Console reports.
These 2 features are currently still in BETA, and only available to a select number of users. We can’t wait for them to be released here in New Zealand! In the meantime, make sure you have access to Google Search Console so that you can begin learning more about how Google and users experience your website.