Google’s new Search Console is out of Beta

Screenshot of Google Search Console home screen

After a year of testing, the replacement to Webmaster Tools has now graduated out of beta and now features a new Manual Actions report and a 'Live Test' feature to the URL Inspection tool.

Google has announced that their Search Console tool is now out of beta - after more than a year of testing and gradual roll-outs to webmasters.

As well as moving the tool out of beta, Google has also added a new Manual Actions report and the ability to check the status of URLs in real-time with the URL Inspection feature.

The first time you log in to Search Console after this update you will be greeted with the below message, which takes you through a quick tutorial of all the features in the tool:

search console new message tutorial screenshot

New Search Console features

Below is the full list of features Search Console gives you:

More data

  • Get an accurate view of your website content using the Index Coverage report.
  • Review your Search Analytics data going back 16 months in the Performance report.
  • See information on links pointing to your site and within your site using the Links report.
  • Retrieve crawling, indexing, and serving information for any URL directly from the Google index using the URL Inspection Tool.

Better alerting and new "fixed it" flows:

  • Get automatic alerts and see a listing of pages affected by Crawling, Indexing, AMP, Mobile Usability, Recipes, or Job posting issues.
  • Reports now show the HTML code where we think a fix necessary (if applicable).
  • Share information quickly with the relevant people in your organization to drive the fix.
  • Notify Google when you've fixed an issue. We will review your pages, validate whether the issue is fixed, and return a detailed log of the validation findings.

Simplified sitemaps and account settings management:

  • Let Google know how your site is structured by submitting sitemaps
  • Submit individual URLs for indexing (see below).
  • Add new sites to your account, invite and manage users.

Although Search Console still doesn't have all the features available in the old version of Webmaster Tools (which is still available to use if you prefer), Google is confident that 'most use cases' are supported with the new version - with more to come in the near future.

Manual Actions report

The new Manual Actions report makes sure that webmasters don't miss any critical alerts regarding security issues and manual actions taken on their site(s).

Notifications will be clearly displayed on the main Overview tab of Search Console, which will take you through to the new-look Manual Actions report for more information e.g.

Screenshot of manual actions report in Search Console

Live URL Inspection

Although the URL Inspection feature has been a part of Search Console for a few months, the ability to test URLs 'live' in real-time is a useful new addition to the tool. By running the inspection on the live version of the page, you can fix issues there and then and then ask Google to recrawl and index the page.

Screenshot of live URL inspection in Search Console

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About the Author

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford is an SEO expert with over 15 years’ experience.

During his time working in SEO, Luke has set-up an SEO agency, worked as an in-house SEO for a major national company and managed his own successful SEO consultancy - using a lot of different SEO tools along the way!