New Navigation to Reflect How Search Works
Webmaster Tools just got a new look. Don’t get too excited. The interface is still pretty stark. Even so, this analytic tool is powerful. It provides info to manage a healthy website. If you weren’t familiar with the old version, no worries. I’ll highlight functionality and important changes worthy of your attention.
Webmaster Tools Overview
Webmaster Tools provides very different information than Google Analytics. For example, GA tracks data about your site traffic while Webmaster Tools (WT) diagnoses website health issues. WT also provides feedback on how friendly your site is to the Google algorithm. In general, the Webmaster Tools team reorganized the site. Features are now arranged according to the different stages of search: crawling, indexing, search traffic, and search appearance. As in other Google tools, the gear icon is now at the top right corner.
Overall, WT’s functionality hasn’t really changed much. I think the organization of information is more logical and therefore easier to find. Things like:
- Site Dashboard – summarizes any crawl errors, how many times your website showed up in search queries, and how many pages (urls) submitted vs. indexed.
- Search Traffic – where you can dig deeper into your top web pages (or blog posts) that had the greatest impressions, the average SERP position, and click-through rate. In the section you can also check linking (both external and internal).
- Index Stats – bucket to see how many pages indexed and content keywords. This section is also where you remove a specific url from Google’s index.
- Crawl – a place where all things crawl related are available.
- Labs – this is a section for new features. Have you implemented authorship on your site? You can see how many pages are attributed to your profile, number of related impressions and clicks.
For newbies, I highly recommend poking around the Search Appearance tab. It dissects the SERP and how you can make the most of your meta data. The help icon is easy to use and has great, albeit limited, info on how to improve how your site appears in search results. Want a little more structured training? Then Webmaster Academy is a great place for tutorials and videos.
What’s your opinion of the Webmaster Tools face-lift? Thumbs up?
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