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Google Updates Webmaster Tools

Web Tools

Google Webmaster Tools has recently introduced a couple of new features that provide webmasters with more details and more control over how their website shows up in search results. Read on for more information on these new changes.

Search Queries

Google believes that your website shouldn’t stand still. Thus, they have added a “Change” column beside the average position, click through rate (CTR), clicks, and impressions columns. This will make it easier for you to monitor trends in each of these important factors. The change column corresponds to a certain time frame you specify, and this should let you determine when a particular change happened.

In addition, there’s now a query details page for every specific query. The page includes chart of impressions as well as clicks for that certain query. Thus, you have a graphic presentation of the query’s performance in search results.

Starred Messages

Some websites get so many messages stored in the Webmaster Tools Message Center. Sometimes, if they build up, you may not be able to find the time to read all of them. You may also receive very important ones, and want to mark and prioritize them. For this reason, Google has added the “star” feature so that you can easily spot messages that you consider important.

Better Parameter Handling

This feature now has its own tab under the Webmaster Tools’ Settings section. What’s more is that Google has introduced a new option that lets you easily manage parameters. The ignore option allows you to specify whether a page should be ignored by Google’s crawlers. This feature is useful if you want to tell Google that a certain parameter doesn’t affect your displayed content. At the same time, Google doesn’t have to crawl within a certain page over and over again, which can create duplicates.

For instance, if two pages with the same URL have the same content, you can indicate which webpage the Google spiders should ignore.

Another new feature involves being able to choose a certain value among all the values of a URL parameter. For example, if you have multiple pages of content and want to tell Google to index a certain parameter, you can now have the pages sorted in a specific way, such as by price, oldest or newest. Here’s one example from Google’s blog:

http://example.com/shop.php?category=candy&sort-by=asc-price&page=1
http://example.com/shop.php?category=candy&sort-by=desc-price&page=1
http://example.com/shop.php?category=candy&sort-by=asc-price&page=2
http://example.com/shop.php?category=candy&sort-by=desc-price&page=2

The items in these pages can be arranged by price, whether in descending or ascending order.

Improved Link Reports

One other updated feature of Google Webmaster Tools is the “Links to your site” section. Now, you can see which domains are linked the most to your website. The overview page will show you three sections: one is for the domains that link the most to your website, another is for the pages on your website with the most links, and a third is for anchor text other websites use to link to your site.

Moreover, each of these three sections can be expanded to reveal more listings. By clicking “More” under the section “Who links the most,” for example, you will see a full list of the domains that link to your website.

Google has presented so many improvements lately. Pull up your Webmaster Tools account now to check them out yourself.