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Aug302018

Google Search Console Updates User Management to Show History of User Actions

Google has announced some important changes to the new Search Console around greater accountability and transparency on action history. The changes will update how user management and rights work within the Google Search Console with soon coming new “history tracking of user actions.” feature./p>

History tracking in Google Search console will show the logged-in users who performed significant property-affecting modifications, These modifications could include “changing a setting, validating an issue, or submitting a new sitemap.”

“As part of our reinvention of Search Console, we have been rethinking the models of facilitating cooperation and accountability for our users. We decided to redesign the product around cooperative team usage and transparency of action history.”

Here are the highlights of some features that are new in the Search Console:

  • User management is now an integral part of Search Console.
  • New Search Console enables users to share a read-only view of many reports, including Index coverage, AMP, and Mobile Usability.
  • A new user management interface enables all users to see and manage user roles for all property users.

In addition to the above changes, another feature will enable all users [irrespective of their permission levels] will able to see all critical site messages in the new Search Console.

Google is also introducing a new, simpler permission model that will limit the “restricted” user role to read-only status. These “read-only” users while being able to see all information, will no longer be able to perform any state-changing actions, such as starting a fix validation, or sharing an issue.

Google goes on to highlight several best practices for managing user permissions in the new Search Console, including:

  • Grant users a permission level that is required to perform their work.
  • Share an issue details report by clicking on the “Share” link on the issue page.
  • Revoke user permissions from a property that they no longer work.
  • When removing a verified owner, be sure to remove all verification tokens also for that user.
  • Regularly audit and update user permissions in the “Users & Permissions” page in the new Search Console.

Google goes on to say that as part of beta exploration, it has made the user management interface visible to all user roles. They have not yet rolled out all the permission changes, specifically the updated user management model that includes “the ability of restricted and full users to easily see a list of other collaborators on the site,” Google said.” This part has been put on hold due to user feedback requesting more time to prepare for the updated user management.”

Lastly, Google notes, that it plans to roll out more updates relating to collaboration tools and changes on permission models.

Update 08/31: Google has quietly made changes to the way Google Search Console tracks certain sets of query data on August 19.

Prior to August 19, totals for “query not containing” data included the sum of queries that weren’t tracked in Search Console. Now, this change specifically affects the way Search Analytics/Search Performance calculates totals for queries that do not match a piece of text.

In a August 29 tweet, Google explaining the details behind the changes stated, “We recently (Aug 19) made some changes in the way Search Analytics / Search Performance calculates total numbers for its graph, when looking at queries that do not match a piece of text.,” “We noticed some confusion, and wanted to clarify the change.”

Google also tweeted this screenshot showing the changes in Search Console:

Google Search Console Change to Data Calculations

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