After much talk and rumours about Google potentially removing the Content Keywords section from their “Google Search Console” (formerly Webmaster Tools), they have finally done it.
The feature disappeared almost 24 hours ago now, and it is yet another feature of Google Search Console which has been culled with no real GOOD reason.
Content Keywords was one of the first features to appear in Google Search Console, but it is no more, because Google believes it was confusing it’s users, and they now have other ways for you to view similar data.
Google is recommending you use Search Analytics and Fetch instead if you want to see how Google sees your website in terms of keywords.
It’s been rumoured as far back as May that this would be happening, so it comes as no big surprise, however, now that another feature has gone for good, what will be next?
This isn’t the first feature removal in recent months, with Google also removing their sitelinks demotion feature from search console too – after a 9 year reign – and the announcement for this was small, quiet, almost not an announcement at all – the information appear on Google+ last month.
Google has said that rather than demote sitelinks you don’t want on your website, you should instead structure your website in a manner that will have Google show the sitelinks you DO want displayed.
The way Google works means this could be harder than you think, however, their guidelines state that you should;
– Structure your website in a clear way, ensuring you use relevant internal links and anchor text which is informative – avoiding repetition where possible
– Ensure Google is able to crawl all pages of your site you want indexed – use a properly structured Sitemap and also submit your site to be fetched, and then rendered and indexed – ensure Google can render all relevant pages correctly.
If you want to remove any of your pages from Googles search index, ensure you use nofollow on any links to it, the nofollow meta, and also add to Robots.txt
Do you think Google is needlessly removing features? Will more be removed in the near future? It looks like they’re going down a streamlining route – or perhaps they are limiting our information and control, who knows!