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Google Search Console Tips

Google Search Console (previously called Webmaster Tools) is a free tool provided by Google for website owners to monitor performance and traffic. GSC also offers search engine optimization recommendations and fixes. Our SEO Office Hours recaps below cover a range of advice from Google to help you better understand and get the most out of this fundamental SEO tool.

Owners Can be Removed From Search Console by Removing their Verification Token

If you have an owner in Search Console that you want to remove, you need to remove the token which was used to validate the user, then you can unverify the user. You can use the user and permissions settings section to identify the verification method for a verified user.

17 Mar 2020

Search Console Reports Google Discover Traffic More Accurately Than Web Analytics

Google search discover doesn’t pass a specific referral string which can be used by web analytics to identify the source, whereas Search Console reports it specifically.

21 Feb 2020

The URL Inspection Tool Can’t be Used to Test Images

Google needs to be able to find clean image tags pointing to the image URL with a proper source attribute, which can be affected by lazy loading and responsive image loading based a device. You can’t test images directly using the URL inspection tool, but you can check the rendered HTML to see if the image links are being recognised.

21 Feb 2020

Search Console Enhancement Reports Are Based on Samples Which Can Change

Search Console enhancement reports including mobile usability are based on a sample of pages which can change in size, so you should focus on the percentage of pages with issues and the specific issues highlighted.

21 Feb 2020

Search Console Index Status is More Accurate than Google Site Search

The Search Console index status is extremely accurate, whereas the site search command does not include everything which is indexed, and the search count shown is generated quickly instead of accurately.

21 Feb 2020

GSC Fresh Data Isn’t Available in the API

When using a tool like Google Data Studio, you may see inconsistent performance data from GSC as the fresh data isn’t included in the API. This is because processing work is often required to clean up the fresh data first before including it in the API.

18 Feb 2020

GSC Click Data is Attributed to Pages Shown in SERPs, Not Pages They Redirect To

If a website is set up to redirect depending on elements like the user’s IP address, Google Search Console will attribute click data to the source page that is shown in the SERPs that is clicked on, rather than a redirection target page.

18 Feb 2020

The Remove Cache Tool in GSC Doesn’t Affect Live Indexing

The remove cache tool in Google Search Console simply hides the cached page from the search results and removes the snippet, but it doesn’t impact the indexing of the page.

18 Feb 2020

If You Have A Manual Action in Place GSC Will Still Show the Page as Indexed

If you have a manual action or URL removal in place, the inspect URL tool in Search Console will still show a page as indexed but it won’t display in search results. This is because the manual action and URL removal are filters which happen on top of the search results, so the page can still be indexed but not shown.

7 Feb 2020

Use GSC to Identify If There Are Any Errors With a Site’s URL Structure After a Migration

After completing a site migration, John recommends using GSC to compare the queries and positions the site was ranking for before and after the change. This will identify if there are any errors with Google’s understanding of the new URL structure and identify if the migration has impacted traffic to the site and where this has occurred.

31 Jan 2020

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