Google communicates to users through search console. 'nuff said.
January 25, 2019

Google communicates to users through search console. 'nuff said.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Google Search Console

I primarily use Search Console, however, I am trying to get others within my department to use it more as a data resource for site performance & troubleshooting. We manage several, relatively smaller sites that don't often encounter manual actions, but if something comes up, it's important we move quickly for our clients to address it.
  • Performance analytics are much better than they were in the previous webmaster. Being able to go back 16 months to see trends forming has been really helpful to see where we are doing well & where we aren't.
  • Sitemap submission is very easy. Literally, 1-2 clicks and you're done.
  • Mobile usability feature makes monitoring very simple & clearly identifies any issues that needs to be fixed. Mobile user experience is really important to our business (and our users), so knowing how each of our clients' sites are doing on mobile is helpful.
  • Features that are missing, in my opinion, are the ability to remove URLs, structured data, crawl errors, fetch as Google, and HTML improvements.
  • I haven't encountered anything that is necessarily difficult to use. But there are a few features that are lacking in depth of details that I wish would provide more information. I would like to see when different bots crawl our clients' sites, such as the Google Smartphone.
  • Google incorrectly flagged several of our clients' sites as "hacked". I'm not sure why they did, but they sent me an alert through Search Console and I was able to clear up the manual action. If I didn't have search console, I would have never known why the rank was dropping all of the sudden.
  • A WordPress plugin accidentally created a series of 404 errors on all of our images. Through Search Console, I was able to see an increase in errors that made me look into it & catch the issue faster than others in my field.
I use Moz & SEO PowerSuite to help monitor site performance, rank, & find keyword opportunities. But I wouldn't consider them the same type of product as Search Console. Google doesn't use either of these two products to send me alerts about issues they've found on my sites. For that reason, I won't ever consider using another product over Search Console. It will always be in addition to.
If your goal is to get organic traffic through Google, you need to be on Search Console. It's not necessarily a direct communication tool to/from Google, however it is a sure way of getting notified by Google if they have major issues with your site. I don't trust the average position metric (underperformance), so I wouldn't use Search Console as the only way of tracking rank, but the ups/downs are decent indications of how your site is performing overall.

Google Search Console Feature Ratings

Backlink management
SERP ranking tracking
Site audit / diagnostics
Site recommendations
Mobile SEO
Global SEO
Multi-domain support