Notes from the Google Webmaster Search Console Hangout on the 20th of December, 2016.

Use Multiple Search Console Verification Methods

Use 2 more unrelated verification methods so that if one fails, the other methods will still work and you won’t lose access.

Search Console Property Sets Aggregate Impressions and Rankings Data

In a property set, if multiple sites are ranking independently for the same keyword, Google only registers an impression and takes the ranking for highest ranking site.

URL Removal Tool Affects All Domain Variations

If you use the URL removal tool, it applies to all variations of the domain including www/non-www and http/https, so it definitely shouldn’t be used to speed up the removal of a domain after migration from http to https. The removal of URLs works faster for the verified versions of a domain.

Use Fetch & Render using Smartphone User Agent, Mobile Friendly Testing Tool, and AMP Testing Tool to test for Mobile-first Indexing

The Fetch and Render tool set to use a smartphone user agent, the Mobile Friendly Testing Tool, and the AMP Testing Tool can be used to show you the content Google will use for the mobile-first index.

Use 503 Status if Serving Pages with a Temporary Interstitial

If you are returning a conditional or temporary interstitial or modal window, return a 503 status instead of a 200, and Google will ignore it rather than index the content of the interstitial, and you won’t get an interstitial penalty.

The backlink data in Search Console is a sampled set of backlinks which Google considers to be more relevant. For small sites, this might include all the backlinks. The data includes links which are nofollowed and may have been disavowed.