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Google Webmaster Tools, a system that has been around for a long time and has slowly developed to include a variety of tools for people managing websites to check its indexing status, optimise visibility and receive messages from Google regarding it, this week rebranded to Google Search Console.

Google officially announced this via its Webmaster Central Blog here.

John Mueller Twitter, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, said this via Google+:

“I remember … back when Google Webmaster Tools first launched as a way of submitting sitemap files. It’s had an awesome run, the teams have brought it a long way over the years. It turns out that the traditional idea of the “webmaster” reflects only some of you. We have all kinds of Webmaster Tools fans: hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters as well. So, to make sure that our product includes everyone who cares about Search, we’ve decided to rebrand Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console .”

Rand Fishkin Twitter, from inbound marketing tool provider Moz, had this to say on Google+:

“Thanks for the New “Search Console” Rebranding, but Google, what I really want is data I can remotely believe.

Below is a comparison of visits from Google Search to (in Google Analytics) vs. search clicks from Google (in Google’s new Search Console – formerly Webmaster Tools). As you can see, Search Console shows nothing close to reality in either trend or numbers.

I’m not sure why Google chooses to display information that we can easily prove wrong… It’s hard to earn trust for their products this way.

ON EDIT: +Cyrus Shepard noted that the dip in accuracy corresponds to our move to HTTPS. We looked at the HTTPS version of Moz’s Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools) account, and if you add the data from both accounts up, you get closer to +Pedro Dias’s estimate of ~20% off (it’s actually a bit more, but not as bad as this chart alone shows).”

(You can see the photos on Rand’s Google+ post).

Here is what Venture Beat added:

“One of the more popular elements of the service are Search Analytics reports (formerly known as Search Queries reports), which deliver data around how a website’s content shows up to users in search results. And that’s the key here — it’s potentially useful to a myriad of end-users, but it seems the ‘”Webmaster” element of the name may deter others from using it.

Now known as Google Search Console, Google wants to broaden the appeal of the service beyond those with the grandiose title of webmaster — which, if you didn’t know, is basically the person in charge of maintaining a website.

In short, Google wants to target everyone, from designers and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists, to marketers and hobbyists. “What you all share is a desire to make your work available online, and to make it findable through Google Search,” explains Michael Fink, product manager Google Search Console”

At the moment, the tool appears to be the same but I assume that the rebrand will mean that it takes more of a search engine keyword route from here. Hopefully, the current tools will remain but will continue to be improved and additional, useful tools will appear. According to Search Engine Land, Michael Fink also said “updated branding across the product over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.” so at the moment its a case of waiting to see how the product develops. Interesting times!

What do you think of this rebrand?