Search Console

Google Search Console, previously Webmaster Tools, is a free tool provided by Google for website owners to monitor performance and traffic, as well as providing optimisation recommendations and fixes. Our Hangout Notes cover a range of advice from Google to help you better understand and get the most out of this fundamental SEO tool.

Site: & Other Unnatural Queries Can Be Dropped From GSC Performance Reports

January 7, 2020 Source

Unnatural searches like site: queries can be removed from Google Search Console performance reports, and often wouldn’t appear there anyway due to the small amounts of people that use them.

Average Position in GSC Can Vary Depending on Whether Viewed on Per-URL or Per-Query Basis

January 7, 2020 Source

The average position in Google Search Console is calculated on both a per-URL and per-query basis. This data can seem inconsistent in some cases, for example, URLs in sitelinks within the top result will be counted as position 1 from a query perspective, but not from a URL perspective.

There Will Be Differences Between Counts in GSC & Google Analytics

December 27, 2019 Source

Search Console tracks things differently than Google Analytics does, so John expects there will be some difference between the metric counts in both. This is because GSC tracks what users click on when visiting a website, while Analytics tracks site visits differently, in particular when redirects are used.

Aggregate Reports in GSC Focus On A Sample Number of URLs

November 26, 2019 Source

The aggregate reports in search console, for example mobile usability, AMP and rich results, focus on a sample of URLs from a site. In comparison, the coverage report includes all of the indexed URLs and this means it can be difficult to compare the total numbers seen across all of the reports. E.g. the coverage report may show 4,000 valid indexed pages, while in the mobile usability report the total may only be 2,000 valid pages, as this is the sample size taken.

Use GSC and Server Logs to Understand Your Site’s Crawl Budget

November 26, 2019 Source

John recommends two approaches for understanding a site’s crawl budget, one of these is looking at the speed at which Google was able to download individual pages, which can be found in GSC. If this is high it may indicate that Google have crawled as much as they could, but may have missed some pages. The other aspect is server errors, as they can impact the ability to crawl the site. Reviewing server logs will allow you to identify if server errors are occuring.

Discrepencies Between Crawl Stats in GSC & Log Files Are Normal

November 26, 2019 Source

In the Google Search Console crawl stats report, all of the access calls which go through the infrastructure that Googlebot uses will be included. This includes Googlebot crawling and rendering as well as robots.txt and sitemap access. John informed that while the crawl stats are useful, it can be difficult to compare them with log files.

GSC Speed Reports May Not Contain Data for Small Sites

November 15, 2019 Source

Search Console speed reports are based on Chrome User Experience data, which is real-world data from users. Therefore, for smaller sites, Google may not have enough data to make a meaningful judgment on speed metrics.

Google May Crawl Parameter URLs Set to Crawl: None in the Parameter Handling Tool in GSC

November 1, 2019 Source

Google may still crawl parameter URLs, even if you set the parameter to crawl: none in GSC. If you want to ensure the URLs never get crawled John recommends using the robots.txt file instead.

“Discovered Not Indexed” Pages May Show in GSC When Only Linked in Sitemap

October 29, 2019 Source

Pages may show as “Discovered Not Indexed” in GSC if they have been submitted in a sitemap but aren’t linked to within the site itself.

Related Topics

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