Google Webmaster Tools Gets Better Navigation, New DashboardBy: Zach Walton - May 8, 2012
Google is continually updating its Webmaster Tools to bring the best features to users. This week brings some pretty major changes in the form of an updated navigation, new dashboard, and a compact view for the home page site-list.
The features that you know and love in Webmaster Tools have been regrouped which facilitated a change in the navigation structure. Some of the features have been renamed as well. The example provided is HTML Suggestions is now called HTML Improvements. All the features can now be found in one of four new groups:
Configuration: Things you configure and generally don’t change very often.
Health: Where you look to make sure things are OK.
Traffic: Where you go to understand how your site is doing in Google search, who’s linking to you; where you can explore the data about your site.
Optimization: Where you can find ideas to enhance your site, which enables us to better understand and represent your site in Search and other services.
The dashboard has received a complete redesign. With the new design, you’ll find recent, important and prioritized messages regarding your site sitting at the very top now. Equally important, there is now a brief summary of your site’s current status just below that. Three of the new feature navigations have widgets with Crawl Errors, Search Queries and Sitemaps representing Health, Traffic and Optimization. In what may be the best change, however, is that more messages and charts are now on the front page. With this, you can see how your site is doing without having to dive into the tools if you don’t have the time to do a thorough check.
The final change is the addition of a “compact” layout. This allows you to see your sitelist without having to view the site-preview thumbnails. You have a choice between the two, but I personally like the compact view more. It also has the added benefit of loading faster since it doesn’t have to stream in large images.
These new updates should make it easier to see site statistics at a glance. You can still dive in and get all the detailed information you’ve expected from Google Webmaster Tools, but now a lot more of it is on the front page. If that’s not convenience, I don’t know what is.