In an attempt to appeal more to people who care about search marketing, regardless of the rest of their background, Google has rebranded the Webmaster Tools site to the “Search Console.” The idea behind the change in branding is that the traditional perception of “webmaster” is of someone who fulfils a technical role. Webmasters are just a small part of the target audience of the platform, and Google wants to reach more people. Google hopes that by rebranding the product it will appeal to the full spectrum of online content creators, including hobbyists, online marketing specialists, designers, SEO workers, small business owners and anyone else who wants to promote their products and services, or content, online. The new Search Console will be rolled out over the next few weeks, and will feature the toolset that is currently available in Webmaster Tools as well as some new features, such as the inclusion of mobile app data in the Search Console. Over the last year, Google has been working to create a single ecosystem for its users, allowing them to access information about almost any topic, and from a range of sources, without having to leave the search engine. Between the knowledge graph, hotel bookings, calculator tools and shopping features, Google has gone a long way towards achieving this goal. Adding app search features for mobile users is another major step in this direction, and offering app developers access to analytics data is the next natural step.
Twitter in Search
Another interesting development coming out of Google this month is the results of its recent partnership with Twitter. Google has access to Twitter’s full “firehose” data stream, which means that they can show recent, relevant tweets in real time search. These results will be shown only to mobile users in the US, at this time, but the feature will likely be rolled out to other users over the next few months. This move has led some to question whether Google will be putting more emphasis on social media mentions and engagements as a ranking metric for websites. Several webmasters have noticed changes in the SERPs over the last few weeks that appear to indicate this is the case. By offering recent tweets in the search results, Google is ensuring that it will always have up-to-the second content available regarding major news events. Twitter users often share information about major events in real-time, providing a unique insight into major stories.