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Further 'improvements' to Webmaster Tools - plus some bugs

 10:38 pm on May 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just logged in to Webmaster Tools and after clicking through to a site's dashboard, I'm seeing a completely new layout. It actually looks pretty good on an HD display (1920x1080) but not so great on my laptop.

One thing to note: It's impossible to view data at the moment; After loading a page, I'm getting redirected to something that doesn't exist, namely:

Query details: utm_source=en-wmcmsg&utm_medium=wmcmsg&utm_campaign=bm

when I click on "Query Details".

Pretty shabby to release something with obvious bugs.



 7:42 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

System: The following message was spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4450710.htm [webmasterworld.com] by tedster - 7:14 am on May 8, 2012 (EST -4)

It seems that Google's WMT has a new look. A bit of rearranging of the sub-menus as well.

I usually don't care about such things, but it seems way to close to Penguin to be unrelated? "Keywords" and "links to your website" seems to be the two features gone from the welcome screen now. Also, "+1" is now a submenu of "traffic" instead of having it's own tab; maybe not as important as before? We can only hope...


 11:20 am on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

The design changed on me mid-click last night.

I'm not liking the new page groupings. Doesn't seem as logical as before.


 3:07 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

All the important stuff is at the bottom of left navigation!

Google could use some usability consultation.


 9:06 pm on May 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google could use some usability consultation.

I just came over here to complain that they've changed the blasted dashboard AGAIN :)

... and this time around it's set up so I have to open my window to 1200 px just to see the whole thing. (Hello? Google? Ever hear of {display: inline-block;}? Works nicely for dynamic resizing. Try it. You'll like it.)

I am especially struck by the URL errors listing so-and-so-many "Not Found" ... without a link to the Crawl Errors page.

List along left: Configuration / Health / Traffic / Optimization / Labs. Ooh, good work, two brand-new categories of information that give no idea what they're about. Who would guess that "Crawl Stats" is an aspect of Health while Sitemaps is under Optimization? And gosh, I wish they'd give some hint which URL on my current Sitemap is not indexed. The numbers differ by exactly one.

Hm, I see +1 is now a subcategory under Traffic rather than a top-level category in its own right. Dare I hope that means it's on its way out?

Quick edit:
OK, I take it back. They do know about "inline-block", because I went to investigate a missing line break:

<h2 class="header-container goog-inline-block"><span class="header-title goog-inline-block">HTML Improvements</span>
<span class="header-subtitle goog-inline-block"><span class="timestamp">Last updated May 7, 2012 </span></span></h2>We didn&#39;t detect any content issues with your site.

See elsewhere under "Do as we say, not as we do."


 2:14 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

+1 lucy24. I probably couldn't have said it better myself :P

Related to a previous discussion here [webmasterworld.com...] , I just saw thumbnails of sites I've never seen before beside a couple of my own URLS on the main panel of Webmaster Tools and I still can't access queries directly from the site dashboard when I click the "Search Queries" bar.


 3:00 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems that different programmers or teams are responsible for different bits of WMT.

In one section of WMT there's nice "back" buttons to click on (but can you please stop moving them around every few days?) and in another just a tatty blue link with "back" anchor text.

When exporting data, filenames are inconsistent: the report-type, date-time and sitename elements are in a different order for each type of report. I mentioned this three or four years ago and it still isn't fixed.


 4:25 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

If I didn't now it what company was behind it, I would say "amateur" and go away from it. They apparently don't need to care about acting like a big responsible company nowadays with all the whimsical changes they make. Yet some of the most important things for follow through are left out.

I still wonder, where are they finding pages that have been gone from my site for over 5 years while telling me a newer page is linking to it causing a 404?


 4:29 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Strange you should ask that but a new 404 appeared in WMT last week: for the 2004 product catalogue that was on the site Nov 2003 to Jan 2005 or thereabouts. Lists a dozen backlinks for it too, most of which haven't existed for 5 or 6 years or more (didn't check the last two listed sites as they are spammy sites I would never visit).


 6:57 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Heh, funny that you mention the 404 errors gs1md. I still have around 5000 links from a domain that expired going on 2.5 years ago and where the links only existed for a couple of weeks after noticing I had configured apache incorrectly and was "catching all" and had some duplication issues.

On that note, I have around 101 "Soft 404" errors which just won't go away, even though I'm clearing returning either 301s or 410s. They come and go as they wish, as I can see on the error line graph.

To be frank, I have my doubts as to whether the teams at Google really are so disconnected from each other. I wonder if the rubbish results we've been seeing for the past couple of years in the SERPs have something to do with similar bugs in their search engine algorithm.

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