Yesterday, while the rest of us were enjoying the patchy rays of sunshine on our Bank Holiday, the inhabitants of Mountain View were using their time constructively to spring clean their Webmaster Tools.
What have they changed?
Simply put according to their official blog, Webmaster Tools now has “an updated navigation, revamped dashboard, and a compact view for the home page site-list”.
They have regrouped the features to create an improved navigation structure, distinguishing the following groups: Configuration, Health, Traffic and Optimization. According to the blog, each group represents “a related set of functionality”:
- CONFIGURATION - like the name suggests: things you configure and generally do not change very often.
- HEALTH - where you to get an update whether things are OK.
- TRAFFIC - where you go to understand how your site is doing in Google Search i.e. who is linking to you and where you can explore data on your own site.
- OPTIMIZATION - where you can find ideas to enhance your website.
Please note Google has also curiously renamed ‘HTML suggestions’ into ‘HTML improvements’.
At the top of the dashboard now rests recent, important and prioritised messages regarding the website. Below that stands a brief status summary of the website and three widgets: Crawl Errors Search Queries and Sitemaps representing Health, Traffic and Optimization (respectively). Google claims that these aforementioned changes have been made because time is of the essence: “We know your time is valuable. With the new Dashboard, we’ve surfaced more messages and charts to let you see how your site is doing at a glance. Take a quick look before diving into the details.”
This change is geared towards website owners who also own numerous other sites. The site-list can now be viewed in a “compact” layout without the large preview thumbnails.
So what has the Google-sphere been saying?
Many of the comments from users indicate that Webmaster Tools looks much “cleaner” and indicate positive opinion regarding functionality and usability; how do you feel about it as a Google user?