Google Makes Navigation Changes To Webmaster Tools

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Google has launched a new navigation design for Webmaster Tools in an effort to make frequently used features easier to access.

The design organizes features into groups that match "the stages of search," as Google puts it. These are: Crawl, Google Index, Search Traffic and Search Appearance.

Crawl shows you info about how Google discovers and crawls your content, including crawl stats, crawl errors, URLs that are blocked from crawling, sitemaps, URL parameters and the Fetch as Google feature.

Google Index shows how many pages you have in Google's index, and lets you monitor the overall indexed counts for your site and see what keywords Google has found on your pages. From here, you can also request to remove URLs from search results.

Search Traffic lets you check how your pages are doing in search results, how people find your site, and links to your site. Here, you can also see a sample of pages from your site that have incoming links from other internal pages.

Finally, Search Appearance includes the Structured Data dashboard, Data highlighter, Sitelinks and HTML improvements.

Admin tasks (at the account level) are found under the gear icon in the corner. This includes things like Webmaster Tools Preferences, Site Settings, Change of Address, Google Analytics Property, Users & Site Owners, Verification Details and Associates.

"This is the list of items as visible to site owners, 'full' or restricted' users will see a subset of these options," says Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Mariya Moeva. "For example, if you're a “restricted” user for a site, the "Users & Site Owners" menu item will not appear."

There's also a new Search Appearance pop-up, which shows how your site may appear in search, and gives more info about the content or structure changes that could influence each element. This pop-up is accessible via the question mark icon.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.