This article shares more information on the much anticipated updates on the Google URL inspection tool and the other latest features within the Google Console.

An overview of the URL Inspection Tool

Google’s URL inspection tool will allow you to check a specific URL to see how Google Search currently views its status. The tool will show the date and status of that URLs last crawl, highlight any indexing errors and display its canonical URL. In addition to displaying whether a page was successfully indexed, you will also be able to clearly identify structured data and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) errors.

If a URL hasn’t been indexed properly, the tool will indicate why and will highlight any other pages that have been affected by the same problem. This will help webmasters to efficiently address common issues and ensure individual pages are consistently performing well and providing a seamless user experience.

Using Google’s URL Inspection Tool

Inspecting a URL in your property is a simple process and can be completed by entering a complete URL into the search bar in the Search Console. It is possible to inspect both non-AMP and AMP URLs and the tool will also provide information about the corresponding non-AMP and AMP variant of each page.

If the page you are inspecting has alternate versions, the tool will also provide important data about the canonical version. Remember, it is essential that the URL you are inspecting is in the current property and if you want to inspect a URL in another property, you must switch properties to do so.

Understanding the information provided by the URL Inspection Tool

It is important to understand that the tool cannot be used as a live test because it will describe the most recently indexed version of each page. If you want to double check when the information was retrieved, you will find a ‘last crawl’ date under the index coverage tab. If you want to test the current version of a URL, you will need to use the Fetch as Google tool, which also allows you to easily request a URL recrawl.

The term ‘URL is on Google’ doesn’t automatically mean that the page you are inspecting is visible in search results as the tool won’t consider any content removals, temporarily blocked URLs, or manual actions.

Additional updates to the new Search Console

Webmasters now have access to traffic data for the past 16 months, which now aligns data analytics with the performance report.

The Recipe report has been introduced to help webmasters to address structured data problems which might be impacting recipe's rich results. The task-oriented interface allows for the seamless testing and validation of your solutions and your progress will be monitored and relayed to you through the messaging tool.

Search Analytics now has new appearance filters, which provides additional visibility on new search appearances including Google Play Instant and Web Light.

Although the new Search Console is still operating in its beta form, new reports and features are being added every month as Google aims to respond to the requests and feedback it is receiving from webmasters. Google understands that user experience (UX) is one of the core concerns of every online business and it is eager to provide businesses and webmasters with easy access to the tools they need to continue to deliver positive experiences across the board.

If you want some assistance with your site to ensure that it is both optimised for your users' experience as well as Google, contact us.