New and Improved Google Search Console for 2021

Updates to Google Search Console and how you can optimize organic search on your website

byJeff Cooper

As a search engine marketer, Google Search Console has some new innovations that will help you keep track of your SEO progress and optimize your website.


If you’re a search engine marketer, then you’re probably familiar with Google’s tool, Google Search Console, and what a great platform it is for helping you optimize all your organic search results on your website. Recently Google’s been making quite a few innovations in their search console platform and releasing more features that help you as a marketer, such as keeping track of all your SEO progress and optimizing your website. Let’s look at some of the key changes Google has pushed live in 2021 and how they might affect your analysis.

Rich Snippet Results

The first major change that Google announced is how they show rich snippet results in their platform. Traditionally, rich snippets have been an aggregation of different data types that Google put under one roof. Eventually, they are going to be fleshing out this into many different specific reporting segments that you can look at to evaluate each of those individual search engine result types by themselves. Let’s review what this looked like before the change and what it will look like in the future:

Rich results snippets report being removed

In your Google Search Console account, you will find this data in the performance section. If you click over to the search appearance tab, you’ll see some information that summarizes rich results. This is a breakdown of over 18 different supported search appearance types that Google has summarized here for simplicity. This change doesn’t affect your rankings or traffic in any way, it’s just a reporting change. As of August 1, 2021, Google has removed this rich results summary entirely from the platform and instead is presenting specific data for snippets like events, FAQs, or how-to results. This isn’t a problem. If anything as a marketer, you’re going to see much more actionable data in this platform that allows you to better optimize your website.

Filter Data

The second significant change that Google has been introducing to the platform is the way they allow you to filter data and your performance reports. If you’ve ever tried to look at something like your non-branded search traffic, you may have realized that historically, Google only lets you filter one query at a time. This can make it challenging for seeing your non-branded traffic trends over time. Now, Google is supporting regular expressions. The way you can see this information is by clicking the plus new icon at the top and selecting a segment from which you want to filter.
New regular expression filtering tools
Here, you’ll see there is now an option to use custom reg x to filter that data. We can see here I’ve been able to combine multiple keywords into a single filter to better identify my client’s non-branded search traffic. If you’ve been using Google Search Console, then you probably know when you are comparing two date ranges in that platform, there are some limitations to the data that Google will display in the UI. If you have more than one metric selected, they will not show some useful columns such as columns that tell you the absolute change of a certain metric, or the percentage change of that metric.

Performance Reports

Google is now releasing those comparisons even when you have two, three, or four metrics selected in the platform. Let’s take a look at what this looks like:
New performance reporting tools
In the performance report, if I select a date that allows for comparison, I can select multiple metrics, and it will show me the absolute percentage change of those metrics. If I add additional metrics such as average click-through rate or average position, we now have a long side-scrolling view of all these different comparisons in the platform. This can make it much easier to quickly identify major shifts in these metrics, and help you better react to that data.

As you become better acquainted with the recent changes to Google Search Console, these innovations will help you with the organic search on your website. If anything, we’re getting more tools and more data to react to as SEOs, and it should improve your analytics and your strategy when it comes to ranking well in Google.

Be sure to check out these new features in Google Search Console. If you need help with your web services—including PPC and SEOcontact us to see how we can help.

I hope you found this helpful and remember to always be optimizing.

 

 

Jeff Cooper

Founder & President, Saltbox Solutions

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