With Google Search Console becoming more useful with the addition of new tools and functionality, anyone reviewing the SEO performance of their site should have access to this information. It also forms a potential communication channel for key messages about a site’s performance on Google, and now there is a new Messages section added to the Console.
Up to now, Google has been sending emails to the registered owners or users of a Search Console account, to notify them of any new indexing or related issues, or to announce updates and opportunities to improve a website’s presence on Google. This should still continue, but Google has now announced that they are making messages a more integral part of the product. They have therefore added a new panel, accessed by clicking the bell icon at the top of any page in Search Console.
The main difference with this new messages section is that users can now view messages throughout Search Console, without having to leave the reports, since the new side panel will open out with the list of messages sent, plus any new ones that are also indicated over the bell icon at the top of the screen.
Once you view the messages panel, users can mark one or more messages as read, to help clear the clutter! Users can also filter messages through a drop down menu by categorising them into several types, such as Coverage, Enhancement types, Performance, and others. This can make it easier for users to review or find information about a specific issue.
Google has also added the capability for site owners to access all the messages sent to the site, even those that were previously sent, regardless of when they were verified and when the messages were sent. This means that when users gain access to a new site they can see messages the site has received in the past, which should help the new owners better understand the context for that property. However, the new message panel only shows messages from May 23, 2019 onward with older messages available in the legacy message list in the old interface, which remains for the time being.
On a related note, Google is sending out a monthly search performance report to users of Search Console, which shows a summary dashboard of the main organic search results for the previous month, including the total number of impressions and clicks, the top performing landing pages, or those with the most increases in the past month, plus top queries, device usage and activity by country. These are designed as a brief summary to then encourage more deeper analysis within Search Console (or Google Analytics if the accounts are linked).
If you’d like to know more about Search Console reports and messages, please get in touch.