Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Google Webmaster Guidelines Change on May 20, 2015 at 12:00PM

Today there were no changes to the Webmaster Guidelines but there was a change to the section of the site that contains Google's guidelines.
Previously the Webmaster Guidelines were part of the "Webmaster Tools Help" section. As of today, these are part of the "Search Console Help".

What is a "search console"? It appears to be a new way of referring to Google Webmaster Tools- as seen by a link inviting you to view your "Search Console", that sends you right into your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Why make this change?

Perhaps Google is rebranding GWMT. In the least, this could use a naming update- I haven't heard someone referred to as a "webmaster" in a long time. Perhaps this is an attempt to bring this product's name into the 21st Century.

Another way of looking at this is as further attempts to confuse organic and paid search efforts. Let's face it: Google doesn't make money from companies who offer SEO (organic search) services- It's in Google's interest to draw businesses into PPC (AdWords/paid search), where they make the money. The closer they bring these marketing channels together, the more they can entice people with paid search marketing.

I did say, "another" way- the first way I noticed this is in the way Google presents the Search Traffic > Search Analytics data in Webmaster Tools/Search Console. I'm referring to how Google presents organic search data in terms of impressions, clicks and average ranking- just like you might find in an AdWords account.

What do you think? Why would Google make this change? How have you seen Google confusing organic and paid search data?

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