In this article, delve into the key features of Google Search Console, explore the latest additions to its arsenal and discover how this essential tool can propel your site to new heights.
What is GSC?
Google Search Console (launched in 2006 under the name Webmaster Tools) is one of the most useful tools provided free of charge by Google to help webmasters monitor and improve their site’s visibility. It is often used as a complement to Google Analytics: a popular web analytics service that covers 80% of the global web market.
Essentially, GSC acts as a radar, providing an overview of what’s working well, helping to identify errors and weak points, and thus guiding the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) manager towards optimizing their site’s performance on the Google search engine.
Key information gathered by Google Search Console includes the number of impressions your site receives on search engines, the number of clicks on your site, and the click-through rate or CTR (clicks ÷ impressions = CTR). You also get an overview of the average position for each page of your site in a Google search, as well as how the site is indexed and any security issues.
What are the main features?
The tool provides a range of useful features for webmasters and SEO professionals, including the ability to:
- Check that the site is correctly indexed by Googlebot (Google’s crawlers) and that the correct pages appear in organic search results.
- Analyze performance and visibility indicators by examining impressions, user clicks and keyword positions.
- Identify technical issues that may affect site visibility: crawl errors, broken links and security problems are just some of the issues.
- Receive alerts in the event of critical incidents linked to search penalties or security breaches.
- Rethink your netlinking strategy and make the impact of SEO even greater as a result.
GSC's latest features
Of course, being one of Google’s most valuable services, GSC is constantly evolving. Recently, Google has been adding new features, giving their customers even more possibilities.
Here are the 5 most important ones not to be missed:
1. Update of Core Web Vitals for URL-level reporting.
This feature provides website owners with granular visibility of the performance of each page on their site at 3 levels: green means it’s working well, yellow indicates problems and the need for improvement, and red shows webmasters that the page is slow and/or unstable. This enables them to identify problems from a user’s point of view and potentially improve the visitor experience.
2. Analysis of site logs.
No need to use third-party tools, the functionality is now available directly in the GSC. By following the path: Settings -> Crawl statistics, it is possible to find details on the identification of malfunctions, the different types of errors, and the quantity of pages crawled on a monthly basis. All this gives an overview of a site’s health, as well as a detailed analysis of the most popular pages.
3. Backlinks can be checked directly.
There’s no longer any need to use other verifier sites, as the functionality is available in the Links section.
Links from other websites to the customer’s site are important for SEO, as search engines see them as votes of confidence and credibility. Checking them regularly is an important part of SEO management. It helps to understand the quality of these links, take steps to eliminate toxic backlinks and strengthen the backlink profile to improve search engine rankings.
4. Special focus on multimedia content search.
The way we look for information on the internet may soon be obsolete.
“40% of young people don’t open Google Maps or Search to find out where to eat their lunch, they turn to TikTok or Instagram” – noted Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google. Indeed, applications offering content in short video format are increasingly being used as search engines.
As a result, Google has had to adapt by adding options to track impressions on this type of content. It is now possible to consult their daily number, as well as other performance indicators.
5. New section dedicated to owners of e-commerce sites and online stores.
Google’s focus on this type of customer is not surprising: global e-commerce sales are expected to grow at an average annual rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 11.51% (source: statista.com).
With the creation of this section, Google is seeking to simplify the structuring of products and their appearance in Google Shopping as much as possible.
The new functionality enabling merchants to propel their products into the most popular category is among those destined to evolve further in the near future.
Google Search Console tip
It is possible to obtain data from Google Search Console reports via APIs. Developers can automate this process and combine GSC data with that from other sources, as well as create and update dashboards bringing together all the vital indicators for website performance.
In short, Google Search Console is an essential tool in web marketing and for any site owner – from large corporations to micro-influencers – who wants to improve their site’s visibility in Google’s search results.
By using Google Search Console’s features, you can obtain detailed and valuable information on how your site is viewed by Google, identify and resolve technical issues that may be affecting your visibility, and find opportunities to improve your ranking in search results.
You can go even further in analyzing and optimizing your online marketing strategy by combining the in-depth data provided by Google Search Console with the powerful features of Google Looker.