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Google’s Hummingbird Update: How It Changed Search

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Google's Hummingbird Update: How It Changed Search

Google Hummingbird was a rewrite of Google’s algorithm that consciously anticipated the needs of searching on mobile devices, in particular by enabling conversational search.

Hummingbird set the stage for dramatic advances in search.

Google never published an explainer of what Hummingbird was.

However, there are records of Googlers explaining what it is.

Let’s take a look at what Google’s Hummingbird update did, how it impacted natural language search, and what Googlers and SEO industry experts had to say about it.

Google Hummingbird

The Google Hummingbird update was put into place in August 2013 and announced one month later, in September 2013.

The Hummingbird update has been described by Google as the biggest change to the algorithm since 2001.

It was also described by multiple Googlers as a total rewrite of the core algorithm.

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Yet, despite the scale of this update, the immediate effect was so subtle that the update was largely unnoticed.

It seems contradictory for an update to be both wide-scale and unnoticeable.

The contradiction, however, is made more understandable when Hummingbird is viewed as the starting point for subsequent waves of innovations that were made possible by it.

Hummingbird Defined

The update was called Hummingbird because it is said to make Google’s core algorithm more precise and fast.

We all know what fast means.

Arguably the most important part of Hummingbird is the word “precise” because precision is about accuracy and being exact.

As you’ll see in the following linked conversations by Googlers, Hummingbird enabled Google to be more precise about what a query meant.

And, by moving away from matching keywords in a query to keywords on a webpage, Google became more precise about showing pages that matched the topic inherent in the search query.

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A Complete Rewrite Of The Core Algorithm

Former Google Software Engineer Matt Cutts described Hummingbird as a rewrite of the entire core algorithm.

That doesn’t mean it was a brand new algorithm but rather the core algorithm was rewritten in a way that makes it able to do its job better.

In a December 4, 2013 video interview, Matt Cutts said that the Hummingbird algorithm was a rewrite of Google’s core search algorithm.

Matt Cutts explained (at the 1:20:00 mark of this video):

“Hummingbird is a rewrite of the core search algorithm.

Just to do a better job of matching the users queries with documents, especially for natural language queries, you know the queries get longer, they have more words in them and sometimes those words matter and sometimes they don’t.”

Some people think of Hummingbird as a component of Google’s core algorithm, much like Panda and Penguin are parts of the core algorithm.

Matt Cutts makes it clear that Hummingbird was not a part of the core algorithm. It was a rewrite of the core algorithm.

One of the goals of the rewrite was to make the core algorithm better able to match queries to webpages and to be able to handle longer conversational search queries.

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Hummingbird Affected 90% Of Searches

Matt Cutts followed up by sharing that the precision and quickness of Hummingbird were present in 90% of searches.

Matt said:

“And so Hummingbird affects 90% of all searches.

But usually just to a small degree because we’re saying this particular document isn’t really about what the user searched for because maybe they said, ‘Okay Google, now how do I put a rutabaga up into space, what really matters is rutabaga and space and not how do I’.”

Hummingbird And Natural Language Search

When Hummingbird came out, some in the search community advised that it might be a good idea to change how content is written in order to match how searchers were searching.

Common advice was to convert articles to use more phrases like, how to.

While the advice was well-intentioned, it was also misguided.

What Hummingbird did was to make long conversational search queries understandable to the search engine.

In Matt’s example, Google was ignoring certain words in order to better understand what the search query really meant.

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In the old algorithm, Google would try to rank a webpage that contained all the words in a search query, to do a word-for-word match between the search query and the webpage.

What Matt was explaining is that Google was now ignoring certain words in order to understand the queries and then use that understanding to rank a webpage.

Hummingbird enabled Google to stop relying on matching keywords to webpages, and instead, focus more on what the search query means.

That’s what he meant when he started his explanation of Hummingbird by saying:

“Just to do a better job of matching the users queries with documents, especially for natural language queries…”

Is There A Hummingbird Patent?

Some of the things that Hummingbird was doing with search queries was rewriting them by using techniques like query expansion.

For example, there are multiple ways to search for the same thing, using different words.

Five different search queries can be equal to one search query, with the only difference being that they use different words that are synonyms of each other.

With something like query expansion, Google could use synonyms to broaden the group of potential webpages to rank.

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After Hummingbird, Google was no longer exact matching keywords in search queries to keywords in webpages.

This was something different that began happening after the Hummingbird update.

Bill Slawski wrote about a patent that describes things that the Hummingbird algorithm is said to be able to do, especially with regard to natural language queries.

Bill writes in his article:

“When the Hummingbird patent came out on Google’s 15th Birthday, it was like an overhaul of Google’s infrastructure, such as the Caffeine update, in the way that Googles index worked.

One thing that we were told was that the process behind Hummingbird was to rewrite queries more intelligently.”

The patent that Bill discovered and wrote about describes a breakthrough in how search queries are handled.

This patent described a way to make a search engine perform better for natural language search queries.

Thanks to Matt Cutts, we know that Hummingbird was a total rewrite of Google’s search algorithm.

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Thanks to Bill Slawski, we can read a patent that describes some of the new things that the Hummingbird update made possible.

Does The Hummingbird Update Do New Things?

Similar to what Bill Slawski touched on about the patent he discovered, Matt Cutts said that the Hummingbird update allows Google to remove words from a mobile search query.

Matt Cutts said at a Pubcon 2013 keynote session that Hummingbird allows the algorithm to remove words that aren’t relevant to the context of what a user wants to find from a mobile voice search query.

You can watch Matt discuss Google Hummingbird in this video at the 6:35 minute mark:

“…the idea behind Hummingbird is, if you’re doing a query, it might be a natural language query, and you might include some word that you don’t necessarily need, like uh… [what’s the capital of Texas my dear]?

Well, ‘my dear’ doesn’t really add anything to that query.

It would be totally fine if you said just, [what is the capital of Texas?]

Or, [what is the capital of ever lovin’ Texas?]

Or, [what is the capital of crazy rebel beautiful Texas?]

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Some of those words don’t matter as much.

And previously, Google used to match just the words in the query.

Now, we’re starting to say which ones are actually more helpful and which ones are more important.

And so Hummingbird is a step in that direction, where if you are saying or typing a longer query then we’re going to figure out which words matter more…”

There are three key takeaways from Matt’s explanation of what Hummingbird does:

  • Google no longer relies on just matching keywords in the search query.
  • Google identifies which words in a query are important and which are not.
  • Hummingbird is a step in the direction of understanding queries more precisely.

Hummingbird Did Not Initially Affect SEO

As previously mentioned, some SEOs advised updating webpages to make them match longer conversational search queries.

But just because Google was learning to understand conversational search queries did not mean that webpages needed to become more conversational.

In the above video recording of the 2013 Pubcon keynote address, Matt goes on to remark that Hummingbird doesn’t affect SEO.

Matt observed:

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“Now, there’s a lot of articles written about Hummingbird, when even when just the code name was known, people were like, okay, how will Hummingbird affect SEO?

And even though people don’t know exactly what Hummingbird is they’re still going to write 500 words about how Hummingbird affects SEO.

And the fact is it doesn’t affect it that much.”

The Effect Of Hummingbird On Search Was Subtle

Matt next describes how the changes that Hummingbird introduced were subtle and not disruptive.

He said that the effect of the Hummingbird update was wide but the effect itself was small.

Matt explained:

“It affected 90% of queries but only to a small degree and we rolled it out over a month without people even noticing.

So it’s a subtle change, it’s not something that you need to worry about. It’s not going to rock your world like Panda and Penguin.

It’s just going to make the results a little bit better and especially on those long-tail queries or really specific queries, make them much better.”

Hummingbird & Long-Tail Keywords

Cutts continued his discussion about Hummingbird by describing its effect on sites that targeted extremely specific long-tail keywords.

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We have to stop here and talk about long-tail phrases in order to better understand Matt Cutts is talking about because this part of the Hummingbird update had an effect on some SEO practices.

Long-tail keywords are search phrases that aren’t searched very often.

Many people associate long-tail with keyword phrases that have a lot of words in them – but that’s not what long-tail is.

Long tail, within the context of SEO, simply describes keyword phrases that are rarely searched for.

While some long-tail phrases may have a lot of words in them, the amount of words in a search query is not the defining characteristic of a long-tail search phrase.

The rarity of how often a phrase is used as a search query is what defines what a long-tail search query is.

The opposite of a Long-tail Search Query is a Head Phrase Search Query.

Head phrases are keyword phrases that have a high search query volume.

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Screenshot by author, March 2022

Because there are so many people using the internet, spammers figured out that it was easy to rank for rare search queries so they began targeting millions of long-tail search phrases in order to attract thousands of site visitors every day and make money from ads.

Prior to Hummingbird, many legitimate sites also routinely targeted rare keyword phrase combinations for the same reason as the spammers, because they were easy to rank for.

After Hummingbird, Google began using some of the techniques that Bill Slawski reviewed in his article about the Google patent.

This change to how Google handled long-tail keyword phrases that Hummingbird introduced had a profound effect on how content was written, as many publishers learned it was not profitable to focus on thousands of granular long-tail search queries.

Cutts explained this long-tail aspect of the Hummingbird update:

“So unless you are a spammer and you’re targeting, ‘how many SEOs does it take to change a light bulb,’ and you’ve got all the keywords, you’ve got 15 variants of it, you’ve got a page for each one, you know.

If you’re doing those really long-tail things, then it might affect you.

But in general people don’t need to worry that much about Hummingbird.”

Despite his confidence that this change wouldn’t affect normal sites, Hummingbird did affect some legitimate non-spam sites that optimized webpages for highly specific search queries.

Hummingbird Was A Step Toward Conversational Search

Because Hummingbird was a rewrite of the old algorithm, which made it more precise and fast, it can be seen as a step toward today’s more modern search engine.

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All of that one-to-one matching of keywords in the search query to keywords on a webpage was gone.

Combined with other improvements, such as the introduction of the Knowledge Graph, Google was now on its way to developing a deeper understanding of what users meant with their search queries and what webpages were really about.

That’s a vast improvement over the old search engine that matched keywords in the search queries to webpage content.

The improvements introduced by Google Hummingbird may have made this direction possible.

And though Cutts described the initial effect as subtle, these changes eventually lead to a more robust spoken language search experience that had a profound effect on what webpages were ranked and which pages were not ranked.

Search Innovations Sped Up After Hummingbird

What we know about Hummingbird is that it helped Google to better understand conversational search queries; it was a rewrite of the old Google core algorithm; that it helped Google understand the context of search queries; and that Google improved its ability to answer long-tail search queries.

Many significant changes to Google’s algorithm happened within months of the release of the Hummingbird update.

User Intent

Of course, when the conversation is about understanding user search queries, we’re now getting into the realm of understanding user intent.

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Being able to remove superfluous words and get to the meaning of what a search query means is a step closer to understanding the user intent.

Fast Conversational Search – June 11, 2014

Conversational search began taking off in a big way in the spring of 2014, about six months after Hummingbird was introduced.

That was when Google was able to integrate the moment current events into the search results.

Read: Let Google Be Your Guide to the Beautiful Game with Real-time Highlights and Trends

Google Hummingbird was so-named because it was fast and accurate.

This new feature gave Google Search the ability to display sports scores in real-time.

There’s nothing faster than real-time, and sports scores are an example of precise information.

Ok Google Comes Online – June 26, 2014

A few weeks later Google unveiled the “Ok Google” conversational search product.

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The introduction of the “Ok Google” voice command could be said to be the moment Google finally achieved its goal of providing a true conversational search experience.

Read:Ok Google” From Any Screen 

Conversational search depends heavily on understanding what people mean when they ask a question. That’s a huge leap forward.

Many other breakthroughs in conversational search followed

Conversational Search And Planning – October 14, 2014

Pravir Gupta, Senior Director of Engineering, Google Assistant posted an article on Google’s blog instructing how to utilize conversational search for doing things like verbally asking Google to find a restaurant or to give the user a reminder.

Read: Fall into Easier Planning with Google

Maybe it’s a coincidence or maybe it’s not that many of these conversational search innovations were released within months of Google’s Hummingbird update.

Regardless, these kinds of conversational search improvements are the sorts of things that Google Hummingbird was meant to support.

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Though our understanding of Google Hummingbird could be better, what we do know makes it very clear that the Hummingbird update set Google on course to meet the challenges of mobile search and caused the SEO community to re-evaluate what it meant to build search optimized content.

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Featured Image: Henk Bogaard/Shutterstock

In-post Image #2: D-Krab/Shutterstock, modified by author, March 2022 

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A Complete Google Search Console Guide For SEO Pros

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A Complete Google Search Console Guide For SEO Pros

Google search console provides data necessary to monitor website performance in search and improve search rankings, information that is exclusively available through Search Console.

This makes it indispensable for online business and publishers that are keen to maximize success.

Taking control of your search presence is easier to do when using the free tools and reports.

What Is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free web service hosted by Google that provides a way for publishers and search marketing professionals to monitor their overall site health and performance relative to Google search.

It offers an overview of metrics related to search performance and user experience to help publishers improve their sites and generate more traffic.

Search Console also provides a way for Google to communicate when it discovers security issues (like hacking vulnerabilities) and if the search quality team has imposed a manual action penalty.

Important features:

  • Monitor indexing and crawling.
  • Identify and fix errors.
  • Overview of search performance.
  • Request indexing of updated pages.
  • Review internal and external links.

It’s not necessary to use Search Console to rank better nor is it a ranking factor.

However, the usefulness of the Search Console makes it indispensable for helping improve search performance and bringing more traffic to a website.

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How To Get Started

The first step to using Search Console is to verify site ownership.

Google provides several different ways to accomplish site verification, depending on if you’re verifying a website, a domain, a Google site, or a Blogger-hosted site.

Domains registered with Google domains are automatically verified by adding them to Search Console.

The majority of users will verify their sites using one of four methods:

  1. HTML file upload.
  2. Meta tag
  3. Google Analytics tracking code.
  4. Google Tag Manager.

Some site hosting platforms limit what can be uploaded and require a specific way to verify site owners.

But, that’s becoming less of an issue as many hosted site services have an easy-to-follow verification process, which will be covered below.

How To Verify Site Ownership

There are two standard ways to verify site ownership with a regular website, like a standard WordPress site.

  1. HTML file upload.
  2. Meta tag.

When verifying a site using either of these two methods, you’ll be choosing the URL-prefix properties process.

Let’s stop here and acknowledge that the phrase “URL-prefix properties” means absolutely nothing to anyone but the Googler who came up with that phrase.

Don’t let that make you feel like you’re about to enter a labyrinth blindfolded. Verifying a site with Google is easy.

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HTML File Upload Method

Step 1: Go to the Search Console and open the Property Selector dropdown that’s visible in the top left-hand corner on any Search Console page.

Screenshot by author, May 2022

Step 2: In the pop-up labeled Select Property Type, enter the URL of the site then click the Continue button.

Step 2Screenshot by author, May 2022

Step 3: Select the HTML file upload method and download the HTML file.

Step 4: Upload the HTML file to the root of your website.

Root means https://example.com/. So, if the downloaded file is called verification.html, then the uploaded file should be located at https://example.com/verification.html.

Step 5: Finish the verification process by clicking Verify back in the Search Console.

Verification of a standard website with its own domain in website platforms like Wix and Weebly is similar to the above steps, except that you’ll be adding a meta description tag to your Wix site.

Duda has a simple approach that uses a Search Console App that easily verifies the site and gets its users started.

Troubleshooting With GSC

Ranking in search results depends on Google’s ability to crawl and index webpages.

The Search Console URL Inspection Tool warns of any issues with crawling and indexing before it becomes a major problem and pages start dropping from the search results.

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URL Inspection Tool

The URL inspection tool shows whether a URL is indexed and is eligible to be shown in a search result.

For each submitted URL a user can:

  • Request indexing for a recently updated webpage.
  • View how Google discovered the webpage (sitemaps and referring internal pages).
  • View the last crawl date for a URL.
  • Check if Google is using a declared canonical URL or is using another one.
  • Check mobile usability status.
  • Check enhancements like breadcrumbs.
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Coverage

The coverage section shows Discovery (how Google discovered the URL), Crawl (shows whether Google successfully crawled the URL and if not, provides a reason why), and Enhancements (provides the status of structured data).

The coverage section can be reached from the left-hand menu:

CoverageScreenshot by author, May 2022

Coverage Error Reports

While these reports are labeled as errors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. Sometimes it just means that indexing can be improved.

For example, in the following screenshot, Google is showing a 403 Forbidden server response to nearly 6,000 URLs.

The 403 error response means that the server is telling Googlebot that it is forbidden from crawling these URLs.

Coverage report showing 403 server error responsesScreenshot by author, May 2022

The above errors are happening because Googlebot is blocked from crawling the member pages of a web forum.

Every member of the forum has a member page that has a list of their latest posts and other statistics.

The report provides a list of URLs that are generating the error.

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Clicking on one of the listed URLs reveals a menu on the right that provides the option to inspect the affected URL.

There’s also a contextual menu to the right of the URL itself in the form of a magnifying glass icon that also provides the option to Inspect URL.

Inspect URLScreenshot by author, May 2022

Clicking on the Inspect URL reveals how the page was discovered.

It also shows the following data points:

  • Last crawl.
  • Crawled as.
  • Crawl allowed?
  • Page fetch (if failed, provides the server error code).
  • Indexing allowed?

There is also information about the canonical used by Google:

  • User-declared canonical.
  • Google-selected canonical.

For the forum website in the above example, the important diagnostic information is located in the Discovery section.

This section tells us which pages are the ones that are showing links to member profiles to Googlebot.

With this information, the publisher can now code a PHP statement that will make the links to the member pages disappear when a search engine bot comes crawling.

Another way to fix the problem is to write a new entry to the robots.txt to stop Google from attempting to crawl these pages.

By making this 403 error go away, we free up crawling resources for Googlebot to index the rest of the website.

Google Search Console’s coverage report makes it possible to diagnose Googlebot crawling issues and fix them.

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Fixing 404 Errors

The coverage report can also alert a publisher to 404 and 500 series error responses, as well as communicate that everything is just fine.

A 404 server response is called an error only because the browser or crawler’s request for a webpage was made in error because the page does not exist.

It doesn’t mean that your site is in error.

If another site (or an internal link) links to a page that doesn’t exist, the coverage report will show a 404 response.

Clicking on one of the affected URLs and selecting the Inspect URL tool will reveal what pages (or sitemaps) are referring to the non-existent page.

From there you can decide if the link is broken and needs to be fixed (in the case of an internal link) or redirected to the correct page (in the case of an external link from another website).

Or, it could be that the webpage never existed and whoever is linking to that page made a mistake.

If the page doesn’t exist anymore or it never existed at all, then it’s fine to show a 404 response.

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Taking Advantage Of GSC Features

The Performance Report

The top part of the Search Console Performance Report provides multiple insights on how a site performs in search, including in search features like featured snippets.

There are four search types that can be explored in the Performance Report:

  1. Web.
  2. Image.
  3. Video.
  4. News.

Search Console shows the web search type by default.

Change which search type is displayed by clicking the Search Type button:

Default search typeScreenshot by author, May 2022

A menu pop-up will display allowing you to change which kind of search type to view:

Search Types MenuScreenshot by author, May 2022

A useful feature is the ability to compare the performance of two search types within the graph.

Four metrics are prominently displayed at the top of the Performance Report:

  1. Total Clicks.
  2. Total Impressions.
  3. Average CTR (click-through rate).
  4. Average position.
Screenshot of Top Section of the Performance PageScreenshot by author, May 2022

By default, the Total Clicks and Total Impressions metrics are selected.

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By clicking within the tabs dedicated to each metric, one can choose to see those metrics displayed on the bar chart.

Impressions

Impressions are the number of times a website appeared in the search results. As long as a user doesn’t have to click a link to see the URL, it counts as an impression.

Additionally, if a URL is ranked at the bottom of the page and the user doesn’t scroll to that section of the search results, it still counts as an impression.

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High impressions are great because it means that Google is showing the site in the search results.

But, the meaning of the impressions metric is made meaningful by the Clicks and the Average Position metrics.

Clicks

The clicks metric shows how often users clicked from the search results to the website. A high number of clicks in addition to a high number of impressions is good.

A low number of clicks and a high number of impressions is less good but not bad. It means that the site may need improvements to gain more traffic.

The clicks metric is more meaningful when considered with the Average CTR and Average Position metrics.

Average CTR

The average CTR is a percentage representing how often users clicked from the search results to the website.

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A low CTR means that something needs improvement in order to increase visits from the search results.

A higher CTR means the site is performing well.

This metric gains more meaning when considered together with the Average Position metric.

Average Position

Average Position shows the average position in search results the website tends to appear in.

An average in positions one to 10 is great.

An average position in the twenties (20 – 29) means that the site is appearing on page two or three of the search results. This isn’t too bad. It simply means that the site needs additional work to give it that extra boost into the top 10.

Average positions lower than 30 could (in general) mean that the site may benefit from significant improvements.

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Or, it could be that the site ranks for a large number of keyword phrases that rank low and a few very good keywords that rank exceptionally high.

In either case, it may mean taking a closer look at the content. It may be an indication of a content gap on the website, where the content that ranks for certain keywords isn’t strong enough and may need a dedicated page devoted to that keyword phrase to rank better.

All four metrics (Impressions, Clicks, Average CTR, and Average Position), when viewed together, present a meaningful overview of how the website is performing.

The big takeaway about the Performance Report is that it is a starting point for quickly understanding website performance in search.

It’s like a mirror that reflects back how well or poorly the site is doing.

Performance Report Dimensions

Scrolling down to the second part of the Performance page reveals several of what’s called Dimensions of a website’s performance data.

There are six dimensions:

1. Queries: Shows the top search queries and the number of clicks and impressions associated with each keyword phrase.

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2. Pages: Shows the top-performing web pages (plus clicks and impressions).

3. Countries: Top countries (plus clicks and impressions).

4. Devices: Shows the top devices, segmented into mobile, desktop, and tablet.

5. Search Appearance: This shows the different kinds of rich results that the site was displayed in. It also tells if Google displayed the site using Web Light results and video results, plus the associated clicks and impressions data. Web Light results are results that are optimized for very slow devices.

6. Dates: The dates tab organizes the clicks and impressions by date. The clicks and impressions can be sorted in descending or ascending order.

Keywords

The keywords are displayed in the Queries as one of the dimensions of the Performance Report (as noted above). The queries report shows the top 1,000 search queries that resulted in traffic.

Of particular interest are the low-performing queries.

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Some of those queries display low quantities of traffic because they are rare, what is known as long-tail traffic.

But, others are search queries that result from webpages that could need improvement, perhaps it could be in need of more internal links, or it could be a sign that the keyword phrase deserves its own webpage.

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It’s always a good idea to review the low-performing keywords because some of them may be quick wins that, when the issue is addressed, can result in significantly increased traffic.

Links

Search Console offers a list of all links pointing to the website.

However, it’s important to point out that the links report does not represent links that are helping the site rank.

It simply reports all links pointing to the website.

This means that the list includes links that are not helping the site rank. That explains why the report may show links that have a nofollow link attribute on them.

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The Links report is accessible  from the bottom of the left-hand menu:

Links reportScreenshot by author, May 2022

The Links report has two columns: External Links and Internal Links.

External Links are the links from outside the website that points to the website.

Internal Links are links that originate within the website and link to somewhere else within the website.

The External links column has three reports:

  1. Top linked pages.
  2. Top linking sites.
  3. Top linking text.

The Internal Links report lists the Top Linked Pages.

Each report (top linked pages, top linking sites, etc.) has a link to more results that can be clicked to view and expand the report for each type.

For example, the expanded report for Top Linked Pages shows Top Target pages, which are the pages from the site that are linked to the most.

Clicking a URL will change the report to display all the external domains that link to that one page.

The report shows the domain of the external site but not the exact page that links to the site.

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Sitemaps

A sitemap is generally an XML file that is a list of URLs that helps search engines discover the webpages and other forms of content on a website.

Sitemaps are especially helpful for large sites, sites that are difficult to crawl if the site has new content added on a frequent basis.

Crawling and indexing are not guaranteed. Things like page quality, overall site quality, and links can have an impact on whether a site is crawled and pages indexed.

Sitemaps simply make it easy for search engines to discover those pages and that’s all.

Creating a sitemap is easy because more are automatically generated by the CMS, plugins, or the website platform where the site is hosted.

Some hosted website platforms generate a sitemap for every site hosted on its service and automatically update the sitemap when the website changes.

Search Console offers a sitemap report and provides a way for publishers to upload a sitemap.

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To access this function click on the link located on the left-side menu.

sitemaps

The sitemap section will report on any errors with the sitemap.

Search Console can be used to remove a sitemap from the reports. It’s important to actually remove the sitemap however from the website itself otherwise Google may remember it and visit it again.

Once submitted and processed, the Coverage report will populate a sitemap section that will help troubleshoot any problems associated with URLs submitted through the sitemaps.

Search Console Page Experience Report

The page experience report offers data related to the user experience on the website relative to site speed.

Search Console displays information on Core Web Vitals and Mobile Usability.

This is a good starting place for getting an overall summary of site speed performance.

Rich Result Status Reports

Search Console offers feedback on rich results through the Performance Report. It’s one of the six dimensions listed below the graph that’s displayed at the top of the page, listed as Search Appearance.

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Selecting the Search Appearance tabs reveals clicks and impressions data for the different kinds of rich results shown in the search results.

This report communicates how important rich results traffic is to the website and can help pinpoint the reason for specific website traffic trends.

The Search Appearance report can help diagnose issues related to structured data.

For example, a downturn in rich results traffic could be a signal that Google changed structured data requirements and that the structured data needs to be updated.

It’s a starting point for diagnosing a change in rich results traffic patterns.

Search Console Is Good For SEO

In addition to the above benefits of Search Console, publishers and SEOs can also upload link disavow reports, resolve penalties (manual actions), and security events like site hackings, all of which contribute to a better search presence.

It is a valuable service that every web publisher concerned about search visibility should take advantage of.

More Resources:

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