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  • Writer's pictureRyan Gagajena

Google rolls out new navigation for Webmaster Tools based on the four stages of search


Author:  Emil Protanlinski

Google today unveiled a new navigation for its Webmaster Tools. The updated design is available now, and there doesn’t appear to be an option to revert back to the previous layout.

Google says it has reorganized the Webmaster Tools features in groups that match the stages of search. Here’s a sneak peek of how it looks:

The company further explains each of the four new groups:

  1. Crawl: See information about how we discover and crawl your content. Here you will find crawl stats, crawl errors, any URLs you’ve blocked from crawling, Sitemaps, URL parameters, and the Fetch as Google feature.

  2. Google Index: Keep track of how many of your pages are in Google’s index and how we understand their content: you can monitor the overall indexed counts for your site (Index Status), see what keywords we’ve found on your pages (Content Keywords), or request to remove URLs from the search results.

  3. Search Traffic: Check how your pages are doing in the search results — how people find your site (Search Queries), who’s recommended your site (Links to Your Site), and see a sample of pages from your site that have incoming links from other internal pages.

  4. Search Appearance: Mark up your pages to help Google understand your content better during indexing and potentially influence how your pages appear in our search results. This includes the Structured Data dashboard, Data Highlighter, Sitelinks, and HTML Improvements.

“The update will make the features you already use easier to find, as well as unveil some exciting additions,” Google claims. That may be, but we’re not particularly thrilled.

“Don’t know who is in charge at GWT but he’s doing a terrible job,” Martijn Scheijbeler, The Next Web’s Lead SEO, told me. “Instead of building new stuff he’s moving the menu items around for the third time in 1.5 years.”

The other changes Google lists are also minor. Account-level administrative tasks (such as User permissions, Site Settings, and Change of Address) are now accessible from the Settings menu (under the gear icon in the top-right corner) and there’s a new Search Appearance pop-up (shows you how your site may appear in search and so on) for beginner webmasters.

We’ll let you know when Google comes out with more features for its Webmaster Tools. Scheijbeler will surely let us know how they fare.

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