Inspecting the new URL Inspection Tool for Search Console

With the new version of Google’s Search Console officially launched, I’m starting to review what it offers compared to the old version.

One tool that’s heavily promoted is the new URL Inspection Tool.

It’s linked to from the sidebar but also in that big search box on top of every page in Search Console.

The URL Inspection tool will pull up a lot of data for a given url including:

  • is the url in Google’s index?
  • are these errors with the url?
  • how Google found this url? (e.g. a link from another page, your sitemap, etc)
  • when was the last time the page was crawled (reviewed)?
  • what canonical options is Google using?
  • how is the mobile usability?
  • AMP status?
  • what Rich Results does it have? (caveat below)

You can also 1) test the url live from your store, where Google downloads a copy right now, or 2) the version Google has in their index.

All told, this tool could be useful to dig into the performance of a url to understand what Google sees and what should be improved.

The one downside is the Rich Results.

They call out that Rich Results will be reported on here but as of now, only Job, Recipe, and Event types are supported. All other types they point you back to the old Search Console reports which has severe issues reporting on Rich Results.

So if you want to see how your products are doing, you’re stuck with searching in Google Search by hand.

Hopefully they’ll expand the Rich Result data in here. It’s sad that Google’s heavily invested into Rich Results on the Search side this year but Search Console is still lagging far behind. I wish Search Console was an actual view into the Google Search results instead of a secondary product that only sees a limited set of data.

Even with those limitations, I’d still recommend checking out the new version. It a bit easier to use and I’m finding some data in there that’s more actionable than in the past. I’ll be covering more of it as I dig.

Though I can’t promise any results with it, after seeing the additional traffic and sales some customers are getting, installing JSON-LD for SEO might be one of the highest ROI decisions you make today.

Eric Davis

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