Google is doing it again! True to their tradition of process streamlining and effectiveness above all, two interesting changes have been added to the Search Console. We’ll be detailing these changes in the respective sections below; before we get there, here’s a bit of context.
All modern webmasters looking to stay ahead of the curve (or at least above the water) must learn to use Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console). It’s simply the most widely available and accessible option to optimise your website and improve rankings. To get access to these website optimisation tools as well as the Search Console that unifies them, you just have to connect your website to the service so it will start gathering data and creating diagnostics from that moment on.
In case you haven’t done so, we must urge you to take five minutes right now to connect your website to Google Webmaster Tools/Search Console. Only after doing so will get you get access to the incredibly useful reports that will help you understand how to best align your website with Google as well as its users.
With that out of the way, let’s now peek into the latest features recently built in to the Search Console. We’re looking essentially at a streamlining of previous link data reports and the introduction of a vital new report on mobile traffic.
Exploring the new link reporting features
The latest version of the Search Console offers impressively streamlined reports on all of your website’s external and internal links. You can now navigate this information very easily and get to the data you want with very little clicks and minimal scrolling involved.
Sections that were previously kept separated – even though they were in ways complimentary – have now been combined into clearer reports. For example, previously you had a section for “Links to your site” and another for “Internal Links”; now you simply have a “Links” section that clearly lists External links, Top linking sites and Internal Links. This information is clearly summarised in the initial tables, and from there you can dig as deep as you like to analyse the data.
It may sound like a trivial matter to those unfamiliar with these tools, but the design philosophy behind this UI clearly puts usability and clarity first, without really cutting back on any information. The reports just unfold seamlessly from general to particular in a way that’s very easy and fast to navigate, even from a mobile device – especially from a mobile device.
No surprises there, since Google clearly is putting a lot of effort into providing a consistently enjoyable experience across multiple devices… but they also realise the future is mobile, and the future arrived yesterday.
A big step forward in mobile usability reporting
Specialists are aware that the volume of worldwide mobile traffic has outgrown desktop traffic. Google knows this has already happened, and they have been taking action for years to ensure this shift won’t tilt the scales of power away from them.
That is why Google has been consistently informing webmasters about the importance of optimising all websites for mobile. They have even explicitly stated that Mobile Usability is a major ranking factor nowadays. For anyone who was still wondering if they were serious about the matter, the biggest new change to the new Search Console explicitly spells it out.
There is now a Mobile Usability section that allows you to check for errors related with a bad mobile experience that might be holding back your website in the search results. This is an incredibly useful new feature, and we advise all webmasters to jump on it and reap the benefits of proper mobile optimisation – before everyone else fully realises how crucial this matter really is.