Search Console

Google Search Console (previously called Webmaster Tools) is a free tool provided by Google for website owners to monitor performance and traffic. It 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.

Titles shown in SERPs are based on the page and not the user query

April 7, 2022 Source

The titles shown in search results on Google are based on the page itself and not the search query. If you notice that the title displayed in the SERPs is being changed between older and newer versions of a page, it could be that an older version of the page has been used for indexing and processing. You can resubmit that page for reprocessing and once it’s processed, use a site:query to recheck the title. You could use this process to understand how Google is changing it and to help to fine-tune your pages (and even understand changes that may be needed for larger templates).

It’s not uncommon to see differences across schema validation tools

March 17, 2022 Source

Users may see a difference in schema validation across tools. This is because the test is designed to validate all theoretical schemas, whereas the reports in Google Search Console and the Rich Results Test focus only on schema that can have a visible effect on Google search results. It could also be a simple case of the requirements being different across both tools; Google tends to be a little stricter on its requirements than If the goal is simply for the marked-up content to appear in Google’s search features, it’s best to follow Google’s own guidelines.

The system for slowing down crawl rate is more responsive in slowing down than ramping back up

November 17, 2021 Source

A site owner was mentioning to John that they saw a drop in crawl rate which was attributed to high response times. They’ve since fixed this, but the crawl rate has not changed. John explained that it may just need longer to catch up, but there is also a form within the Google Search Console Help Center where you can request someone to take a look at the crawling of your website—they might be able to adjust it manually.

Continuous scrolling will initially only impact the top 40 search results in Google

November 1, 2021 Source

Continuous scrolling in Google search results is being rolled out on mobile English-language results in the US. For now, it will work on the first four pages only (that is the top 40 results). Users will need to manually click a ‘load more’-style button in order to see URLs that rank in positions after page 4. 

Continuous scrolling won’t change how impressions are counted in Google Search Console

November 1, 2021 Source

Google’s new “continuous scroll” feature for its SERPs will continue to load results in sets of 10, so impressions in GSC will continue to be counted in the same way. For example, when a user scrolls down and organic results 11-20 load dynamically in the viewport, those pages will get an impression in the same way as if the user had clicked through to page 2.

If anything, site owners might see a slight increase in impressions as continuous scroll makes it easier for users to view more results, although this could in turn have a negative impact on CTR.

Impressions from bots and scrapers can sometimes still make their way into GSC

October 30, 2021 Source

Google filters and blocks bots at different positions in their search systems. It’s still sometimes possible to see impressions from bots and scrapers appearing as impressions in Google Search Console (GSC). If bots appear in your GSC, you can flag these in the ‘feedback’ function. Sometimes bots are filtered out at a later stage in the search system but still will appear in GSC. 


Use a Proxy to Test Development Sites with Google Tools

March 20, 2020 Source

If Google’s testing tools like the Mobile Friendly Test, won’t work with a disallowed or noindexed locally hosted development site, Google provides a guide to implementing a proxy to bypass any firewalls.

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

March 17, 2020 Source

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.

Search Console Reports Google Discover Traffic More Accurately Than Web Analytics

February 21, 2020 Source

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.

Related Topics

Voice Search Search Algorithms Search Queries Rich Snippets Featured Snippets Penalties PageRank SERPs Core Web Vitals