The New Google Search Console: Mobile Compatibility and Link Reports

The search engine giant announced last week that they would be adding additional features to their new Google Search Console (GSC).

This new Search Console was initially released in beta to a few users at the end of 2017 and then rolled out to all users beginning in early 2018. The initial beta version initially included the most popular functions, including search performance, index coverage, AMP status, and job posting. Google announced their intention to continue to add more features throughout the year. These latest features are imports from the old Search Console.

Features on new Google search console

As the company has said about their new Google Search Console:

“The new Search Console was rebuilt from the ground up by surfacing the most actionable insights and creating an interaction model which guides you through the process of fixing any pending issues.”

If you noticed some changes as you logged into the new Google Search Console, we have outlined what you should know.

What you will find in the new Google search console

Links Report

On the Links Report, you will be able to easily see both the inbound links to your site as well as the internal links between your pages as Google search sees them. This report will combine the insights that you used to see in the “Links to your Site” feature and the “Internal Links” that you saw on the old search console.

You will also be able to gain valuable insights from this report such as:

  • Which sites link to your domain the most
  • Which specific pages on your domain receive the most links
  • The text that commonly points to your site

Example Links Report from new Google Search Console

Why does the Link Report matter?

Inbound and internal links play valuable roles in SEO.

Inbound links let Google gain a better idea of how other people view your site. Sites generally viewed as reputable and valuable will receive more inbound links than others. Quality inbound links, therefore, will give the Google algorithm a good idea of how people view your material.

Helpful links can also drive traffic to your site.

People link to your site because your content would give valuable information for their users. If those readers want more information, they will click on the link, therefore bringing more readers to your domain.

Internal links help both people and search spiders enhance their navigation of your site. They will keep people engaged by encouraging them to visit additional pages relevant to their topic of interest. They will better explore the depth your site offers and begin building that important relationship of trust.

Internal links will also help search engine spiders navigate the site. They will see clearly how the different pages connect together and get a better idea of the value and depth you offer. This can help improve your standings in the SERP. They will also help to ensure that no pages of your site are overlooked by the spiders, so everything gets indexed regularly and remains updated.

Mobile Usability report

The Mobile Usability report on the new Google search console will contain issue names consistent with the ones that appeared in the old report. It will also have a new feature, however, allowing GSC users to submit a “validation and reindexing request.” If Google highlights an issue on the mobile usability of your site and you correct the problem, you can then use this request to let Google know the problem has been corrected. Given the importance of mobile in today’s search algorithm, correcting these issues as quickly as possible will be critical.

Example of mobile usability report on new Google Search Console

Google has placed a large emphasis on mobile users in recent years. The search engine giant points to the high levels of smartphone saturation, including that in a number of countries, there are more smartphones than personal computers.

Given the number of people who currently use mobile devices to access the internet, brands need to have confidence that these readers can easily engage and interact with the website. Pages that do not conform to Google’s’ mobility-usage recommendations may use small fonts, force people to zoom in on the page, or otherwise not fit the screen, causing a poor user experience.

Why does the mobile usability report matter?

Google has placed a considerable amount of emphasis on usability for mobile users over the past few years. They used mobile compatibility as a ranking factor beginning over 3 years ago with the Mobilegeddon update in April 2015. Beginning at the start of 2018 they also began rolling out their mobile-first algorithm, which looked at the mobile version of a website first when determining the ranking of pages on the SERP.

This report will provide important information for users so they can remain confident that their site does not contain mobility-usage errors. Failing to uncover and address such errors could easily result in a drop in rankings as well as a poor user experience for a number of potential visitors.

What does mobile usability mean?

Sites that rank highly in their mobile usability provide easy navigation for users on-the-go.

You want to think about the page-load speed, text, images, and other visual content you produce. Make sure it appears easily on mobile devices. Small font sizes or fancy designs that make it hard to read will both detract from the mobile user experience as will videos and images that do not display on mobile devices.

You also need to think about the buttons you use. People on mobile devices generally navigate using their fingers. Navigation features, such as your menu or arrows, should all have enough space in between them that mobile users can easily click where they intend.

Mobile friendliness also includes developing layouts and content that assists on-the-go visitors with finding the information they seek. Google, for example, has found that 94% of people on smartphones use them to find local information. Creating content that addresses these local intentions and anticipates what people want to see will produce higher engagement rates.

Google continues to work towards an improved user experience, and that includes giving site owners the tools they need to improve the usefulness of the content they produce. Through using these features, you will have greater insight into your site’s performance and what you can do to boost it with the help of the BrightEdge platform.

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