Google Webmasters Facelift

The development team behind Google Webmasters have been at it again, releasing a new interface and additional features to the much loved utility.

Some points of interest about this particular update:

  • The landing page for Google Webmasters has been updated with a nicer layout and some groovy little icon action; all of the familiar links and utilities are still present on the page.
  • The user interface within the Webmasters Console has been refreshed, with stacked left navigation similar to what Google Analytics provides. At this stage, the overall bling throughout Google Webmasters doesn’t compare to Google Analytics; however it is great to see that they are making improvements to the interface regardless.
  • Subscriber statistics have been added in, so it is now possible to see how many people subscribe to the various XML feeds that your site provides. While it is quite useful to see a raw number, it would be nice to see more information about that data such as how it is trending over time, how often people are checking it and so forth. I had expected that Google would have already started exposing services provided by the recently acquired Feedburner, which would provide that level of granularity and more – maybe this is the start of that movement?

I don’t recall if the user interface had this before or not, however each section in the stacked navigation now features an overview page. Frustratingly, the overview page doesn’t actually ‘overview’ anything but provide a link into each section within it (which are already in the menu itself); so in effect you get a link and a tiny blurb per sub-section.

Nothing earth shattering in this particular release, however the constant improvement of the Google utilities is on of the things that makes them so good. I can’t wait for the next update, where I’m sure we’ll see a vastly improved user interface with better data visibility across the board.