Google Webmaster Tools Restructures Navigation & Adds Search Appearance Overlay

google-webmaster-tools-video-1330350240Google announced they’ve updated the navigation within Google Webmaster Tools and have also added a new “search appearance” pop up that should help novice webmasters.

New Webmaster Tools Navigation

The new navigation was redesigned and structured to be in the order of “the stages of search,” said Mariya Moeva, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst. The structure should make it easier and more logical for webmasters to work with. Google explains what each section contains:

  • Crawl Section is where you will see information about how Google discovers and crawls content. In here are your crawl stats, crawl errors, any blocked URLs by crawling, Sitemaps, URL parameters, and the Fetch as Google feature.
  • Google Index section will keep track of how many of your pages are the Google index and how Google understands that content. Here you can monitor the overall indexed counts for your site (Index Status), see what keywords Google found on your pages (Content Keywords), or request to remove URLs from the search results.
  • Search Traffic will show you how your pages are doing in the search results. Such as how people find your site (Search Queries), who’s recommended your site (Links to Your Site), and see a sample of pages from your site that have incoming links from other internal pages.
  • Search Appearance will mark up your pages to help Google understand your content better during indexing and potentially influence how your pages appear in the search results. This includes the Structured Data dashboard, Data Highlighter, Sitelinks, and HTML Improvements.

Quicker Access To Administrative Functions

Google also finally added the ability to access the administrative functions to a gears icon at the top right of each profile. Account-level admin tasks including setting user permissions, site settings, and the change of address feature can now be found in that gear icon in the top right corner of the page.

This is the list of items as visible to site owners, such as “full” or “restricted” users will see a subset of these options. Depending on your level of access, will determine what options you see in this menu.

Search Appearance Pop Up

Google added a new “Search Appearance pop-up” that is aimed to make it easier for new webmasters to visualize how your web site will appear in search results. It is also aimed to make it easier for webmasters to learn more about the content or structure changes that may help to influence each element.

Here is a picture: