Google Webmaster Tools Cleans Up Navigation & More

Jul 2, 2013 • 9:17 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster ToolsGoogle has announced a clean up of Google Webmaster Tools, where they reorganized the left hand navigation menu, added a gears icon for quicker access to administrative functions and added a new search appearance pop up feature.

New Navigation:

The new Google Webmaster Tools navigation is now organized differently to make it sync with the stages of the Google flow.

  • Crawl Section is where you will see information about how Google discovers and crawls content. In here are your crawl stats, crawl errors, any blocked URLs by crawling, Sitemaps, URL parameters, and the Fetch as Google feature.
  • Google Index section will keep track of how many of your pages are the Google index and how Google understands that content. Here you can monitor the overall indexed counts for your site (Index Status), see what keywords Google found on your pages (Content Keywords), or request to remove URLs from the search results.
  • Search Traffic will show you how your pages are doing in the search results. Such as 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.
  • Search Appearance will mark up your pages to help Google understand your content better during indexing and potentially influence how your pages appear in the search results. This includes the Structured Data dashboard, Data Highlighter, Sitelinks, and HTML Improvements.

click for full size

Search Appearance Overlay:

For webmasters who have no clue how Google looks or works, Google made it very clear by adding this overlay or pop up explaining the Google search results page. You can access it by clicking on question mark icon next to the Search Appearance menu in the side navigation.

It basically describes the results page and UI features on that page:

click for full size

New Administrative Gears Box:

I love this, it is something that always took too many clicks to get to. Now it is available at the top right of all the pages within Webmaster Tools.

Google WMT Gears

There has not been much discussion around this update because there have been no major technical features added to Google Webmaster Tools with this release. It is mostly just a cosmetic change.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Previous story: Why My Google Sitelink Demotions Aren't Holding


Per Pettersson

07/02/2013 02:09 pm

This is a pretty good improvement in WMT. Sadly I've just written a post on using the basics and have to screen shot all over again and re-write it...

Mike Pannell (Dallas Realtor)

07/02/2013 03:02 pm

Now if they could just clean up the link reporting... So many links in there that havent been live in many months...

Daniel Benny Simanjuntak

07/02/2013 05:38 pm

Nice update. The changes would be that much more useful though if Webmaster Tools remembered the state of the sidebar.

Jitesh Ghushe

07/03/2013 04:17 am

Additional tools and Lab navigation still needs to be improved.


07/03/2013 12:11 pm

Thanks as always Barry.

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