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Google Webmaster Tools Introduces “Site Health” and Redesigned Homepage

Google Webmaster Tools introduces “site health,” and also redesigned the Webmaster Tools home page to “highlight web sites with health problems” to help you easily see what needs your attention the most, without having to click through all of the reports in Webmaster Tools for every site you manage, revealed Susan Moskwa, Webmaster Trends Analyst.

“The new home page is currently only available if you have 100 or fewer sites in your Webmaster Tools account (either verified or unverified). If you’ve more than 100 sites, you can see site health information at the top of the Dashboard for each of your sites,” Moskwa stated.

Following three issues are currently available in site’s health check:

  1. “Have we detected malware on the site?
  2. Have any important pages been removed via our URL removal tool?
  3. Are any of your important pages blocked from crawling in robots.txt?,” said Moskwa.

She notes that in the future, Google will expand the checks to determine a site’s health, beyond the above three, as these aren’t the only things that can make a website “unhealthy.”

In the screenshot below you can see that sites with health problems are shown at the top of the list. “If you prefer, you can always switch back to listing your sites alphabetically.” To see the specific issues detected on a site, click the site health icon or the “Check site health” link next to that site:

After you’ve resolved any site health issues we’ve flagged, it’ll usually take several days for the warning to disappear from your Webmaster Tools account, since Google has to recrawl the site.

A word about “important pages”: “As you know, you can get a comprehensive list of all URLs that’ve been removed by going to Site configuration > Crawler access > Remove URL; and you can see all the URLs that we couldn’t crawl because of robots.txt by going to Diagnostics > Crawl errors > Restricted by robots.txt. But since webmasters often block or remove content on purpose, we only wanted to indicate a potential site health issue if we think you may have blocked or removed a page you didn’t mean to, which’s why we’re focusing on “important pages.” Right now we’re looking at the number of clicks pages get (which you can see in Your site on the web > Search queries) to determine importance, and we may incorporate other factors in the future as our site health checks evolve,” added Moskwa.

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