Google’s changes in Search Console -- a collection of tools to help website owners, webmasters, marketers and SEO professionals monitor website performance in the Google search index -- alter the way user permission, management and rights work, making users more accountable.
“We decided to redesign the product around cooperative team usage and transparency of action history,” wrote John Mueller, senior webmaster trends analyst at Google Switzerland in a blog post on Wednesday. “The new Search Console will gradually provide better history tracking to show who performed which significant property-affecting modifications, such as changing a setting, validating an issue or submitting a new sitemap.”
The plan also includes allowing users -- from the lowest level of permission to the highest -- to see critical site messages. New features include the ability to share a read-only view of many reports like Index coverage, AMP, and Mobile Usability.
Users can share the issues identified in the report by clicking the “Share” button on the page. This link grants access to the current page, plus any validation history pages for this issue, to anyone with the link. It does not grant access to other pages or enable the shared user to perform any actions on the property or the account being shared. Google also identifies what to look for such as spikes in indexing errors.
Google also added better tracking for historic searches to show the specific person who performed a modification such as changes to a setting or submitting a sitemap. The company also plans to limit the "restricted" user role to a read-only status. These users can see all information, but can no longer perform any changes, including starting a fix validation or sharing an issue.
Mueller also provided some best practices for managing user permissions, such as granting users only the permission level that they need to do their work.