7 Important Google Search Console Features for SEO

In 2019, the Google Search Console developers launched a large-scale update of the service, added new options and upgraded the old ones. Now it is a much more functional and convenient service for an SEO specialist.

We have selected the most, in our opinion, useful GSC functions and talk about how they can be useful for an SEO-optimizer.

Performance and Coverage reports

Maria Shchipanova,
SEO-optimizer company SEO.RU:

“The most important reports are Efficiency and Coverage.

Performance Report shows requests for which there were impressions and transitions to the site, from which devices (mobile and PC), from which countries, as well as the average site position and CTR:

Performance Report

This helps to track the dynamics of requests, identify the most traffic pages on the site and find pages with a low CTR for further optimization.

Coverage report shows whether everything is good with the indexing of the site in the Google search engine. You can see the overall ratio of added and excluded pages:

Coverage report

Here, first of all, you need to pay attention to pages with errors in indexing and excluded pages. Also, by looking at the pages without errors, you can identify pages that have been indexed, but not added to the Sitemap. ”

Sitemaps

The Sitemap file contains all the important information about the organization of the site content that needs to be indexed. Here you can see if your site’s sitemaps have been checked and add new ones so that the robot can index them faster:

Sitemaps

This report will contain only those Sitemaps that you submitted here through the special field “Add Sitemap file”. Even if Google Search Console was able to find them using other sources, it is worth resubmitting it – this may determine the error rate.

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It is also worth remembering that this report does not display data for sitemaps that contain URLs for images, videos, and news at the time this article was published. Although you can add them.

Removing page and cache from index

With GSC, you can remove pages from the index using a temporary lock:

deleting

When can this come in handy? For example, in cases where the page is already available, but you need to quickly fix some errors on the page. If search engines are the main source of traffic, then a temporary blocking of display in the SERP will help you quickly and quietly remove all inaccuracies. It will also work if you have removed some of the content from the page and logically do not want to see it in Google results – only the remaining content on the page. In other words, it is clearing the cache.

In addition, here you can find content marked “Adults Only”.

Whole site loading speed

The download speed report became available to all users in November 2019, and is currently in experimental mode.

Download speed

Loading speed is a ranking factor in Google, and slow web resources can lose their rankings.

The speed estimate in this report is based on two parameters – FCP and FID.

FCP (First Contentful Paint) is the first content rendering, that is, the time from the moment the user requested the URL until the first elements are displayed. If the components of the site are opened in the browser, then the user understands that the site is loading and does not close the page (for a short while). The aggregate FCP reported in the report is the average that Google bots see in 75% of site visits from a group.

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FID (First Input Delay) is the time between the first user interaction with the given page and the browser response. Interaction is considered to be a click on any interactive element (link, button, form, and so on). This parameter is needed to measure page performance and response rate to user actions. The summary FID in the report is the smallest parameter value, typical for 95% of address visits.

A slow site loading speed is characterized by a low FCP speed (over 3 seconds) and an average FID (about 300 ms).

For the average – average FCP (less than 3 s, but more than 1 s) and average FID (about 300 ms).

For high – high FCP (less than 1 s) and high FID (less than 100 ms), or just high FID if there is no FCP data.

high, low, medium speed

Convenience for mobile

In the mobile first era, it is important to analyze the Mobile Usability report. It shows pages that are not mobile optimized:

Convenience for mobile

Possible errors are also indicated here, among which the most common are:

  • too small print;
  • content is wider than the screen;
  • no viewport tag;
  • too close proximity of interactive elements.

Google Google, but these errors must be checked with the help of other tools and must be visually, and only after that they must be corrected.

AMP page

If the site is implemented More … “> AMP technology, then you can see the data for these pages. This shows the number of indexed and error pages:

AMP page

Along with the number of pages, the errors themselves are indicated, which need to be corrected for the correct display of pages in mobile browsers.

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This report should have as many pages as there are. But you need to remember that the list of pages in the report may be incomplete: the internal mechanics of the service do not allow showing data of more than 1000 pages. Also, it is impossible to exclude the possibility of an error due to which the service could not reach some working AMP.

Products report

The “Products” report shows errors in data micro-markup:

Products report

Micro-markup is responsible for the formation of the snippet and its presentation in the search results, therefore, the identified errors must be corrected. Moreover, instructions for this are presented.

Instead of a conclusion: Google Search Console and Yandex.Webmaster

An analogue of Google Search Console from Yandex is Ya Webmaster. These services must be used together: the data in GSC does not always show a reliable result – like the data of the Webmaster, so the truth is somewhere in between. In addition, the Yandex service has many useful features that GSC does not have: trends in search queries, the “Original texts” option, and regionality.

For a complete picture of SEO results, also analyze the information from Metrica and Google Analytics so that you don’t miss anything.

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