Webmaster Tools Redesign Feedback and Google's Response
Article by George Norman
On 11 Jun 2009
Less than a month ago Google Webmaster Central announced that it introduced a new UI (user interface) to Webmaster Tools and at that time Google announced that the old design will continue to be available for a limited amount of time in order to make the transition easier on you and in order to gather much needed feedback. That limited amount of time has now passed and consequently the old UI is a thing of the past; the upside is that Google gathered plenty of feedback and used that info to tweak the new UI, and even add new features.

Product Manager on the Webmaster Tools Team, Sagar Kamdar, comments: “We launched a preview of our new Webmaster Tools interface three weeks ago, and received a lot of valuable feedback. Most of you liked the update, appreciating features such as the one-stop dashboard, more top search query data, and the improved menu and navigation. Thanks to all the users that took time to give us feedback on the new user interface.”

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Here is the feedback that Webmaster Tools users provided and how Google responded:
- Users wanted to select the number of rows displayed in such features like the number of links to your web page. This feature has not been reinstated; instead Google Webmaster Tools increased the default number of rows to 100.
- Users noticed that the top search query info differed between the old and the new UI; this is because the Google Webmaster Tools Team did a lot of re-engineering to improve the new top search queries backend. The new backend is more accurate and more reliable.
- An issue with Sitemaps has been noticed by the users and consequently fixed by the Webmaster Tools Team. The issue refers to the fact that the number of downloaded and indexed URL counts in Sitemaps was different in the old and the new Webmaster Tools.
- The number of backlinks will vary because the new UI displays the original anchor and not following redirects.
- Only five sites are listed on the new site switcher. The Webmaster Tools Team said it is still working on fixing this as some users complained the new site switcher is limiting.

New Features in Google Webmaster Tools
Change of Address: you can notify Google when you move from one domain to another.
Message Forwarding: the Message Center in Webmaster Tools can now forward emails to your personal email address. Software Engineer Tanya Gupta explains: “he Webmaster Tools Message Center is used to communicate confidential information about sites you've verified. This may be anything related to your site, from details about potential issues with Google's Webmaster Guidelines to confirmations of actions taken within Webmaster Tools like changes to site-wide settings. Messages can be forwarded in any of our 40 supported languages to any email associated with your Google Account.”

If you would like to get started with Google Webmaster Tools, please click here.



Tags: Google, Webmaster Tools
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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