Everywhere I look, I see updates! We’ve been experiencing a flurry of updates in the way of search and search engines. A medium-sized change went live Monday in the Google Webmaster Tools (GWMT) interface.
This update moved some of the options around, introduced a Search Appearance tool set and additional lab tools. When you log in (if you are a regular user of GWMT) things will look fairly similar to the old interface. Once you select a website, you will be alerted to the change care of a small box that links to an informational article on the search appearance. The new order of options is: Site Dashboard, Site Messages, Search Appearance, Search Traffic, Google Index, Crawl, Malware, Additional Tools and Labs.
- Site Dashboard
- Overview of the website property. Great snapshot of the website according to Google.
- Site Messages
- If there are any changes, alerts, notifications or issues, they will appear under this section as well as on the dashboard.
- Search Appearance
- This section is new and offers a number of elements related to the way the website appears in search.
- Search Traffic
- All data related to the website as it relates to the search index is here, namely search queries and links.
- Google Index
- Google’s view of your website will appear under this section. The main section gives information related to the index status of your pages.
- Everything crawl related can be found here. If there are errors or sitemap problems they will be under this heading. Under Crawl you can also fetch pages as Google and submit new content to the index.
- Self explanatory, if you have malware issues they will appear under this section with additional details to help you alleviate the concern(s).
- Additional Tools
- This is GWMT version of a resource page. Contained in this section are links to additional tools, such as the rich snippet tool.
- Custom applications fall under the labs heading. Here you can find Authorship stats and if you use Google’s Custom Search information can be found as well. As Google puts it, “Webmaster Tools Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.“
Under the cog (aka Settings) in the top bar next to the website URL, you will find all of the administrative elements not related to data concerning the website. Under settings you can adjust the preferred domain, regional settings, users and other controls.
Search Appearance is a welcome addition to the GWMT system. This useful section focuses on how site pages show in the search result pages (SERPs).
In the previous interface these elements were in different menus and slightly cumbersome to tie together. Clicking on the “?” next to the title offers this helpful walk through of the SERP and how to leverage the page:
Hop to it! Get back into your GWMT accounts and check out the new interface. Let us know your thoughts about the new look. Useful? Problematic? Find something useful for other webmasters, share your insights!