Google’s been making a lot of changes of late. In April we had the slightly over-hyped #Mobilegeddon algorithm update, and in stark contrast we've recently seen the stealthy “Quality Update” slinking its way through SERPs.
This latest change at Google is nowhere near as scary as either of those two, but it might still leave some people scratching their heads in confusion.
During the "Meet The Search Engines" segment at SMX London, Google’s Developer Program Tech Lead, Maile Ohye, made a pretty big announcement about the much loved (by those who use it anyway) Webmaster Tools platform.
— Noisy Little Monkey (@noisymonkey) May 20, 2015
After 10 years of loyal service, Google Webmaster Tools is getting a re-brand and is evolving into "Search Console"
According to Maile and Google Product Manager Michael Fink, the re-brand is an attempt to make what was traditionally a fairly ‘techie’ tool more inclusive and appealing to hobbyists, SMEs, marketers and designers. It’s a smart move to be honest, the word “Webmaster” has always conjured an image of sweaty neck-beards and "SEO check" shirts in my mind…
Apart from the name change, Maile confirmed some new features in Search Console but also alluded to some not so specific updates in the coming months.
While not currently featured in Search Console, Google want to offer more in depth information and analytics on app performance and issues. Maile stated that Google's attempting to improve Webmaster Tools by making it a one stop shop for users to analyse and maintain their sites across any and all properties (including apps!). We’ll have to wait and see how Google’s going to incorporate this into Search Console though as I can't seem to find this feature yet...
Search Analytics (formerly known as Search Queries) adds a host of new features and filters to Search Console. In a way, the new updates really hit home that Google is committed to a mobile/multi device strategy - did you spot that you can now filter your clicks, impressions, CTR & position via device type?
It’s unlikely we’ll see all of the new-fangled features that Maile hinted at for a while. The roll out so far has only hit the US and UK, with Webmaster Tools / Search Console available in 20 different languages it’ll be a fair few months until all the iterations are up to date.