Google has made two changes in Google Search Console over the past 24 hours. Most significantly, the index coverage report now uses mobile-first indexing data when available. Meanwhile, Google has issued notices about sunsetting old Google Search Console reports when similar reports exist in the new Google Search Console.
Google index coverage report uses mobile first indexing data. Google has updated its index coverage report to use data it gathers from the mobile-first indexing initiative instead of using desktop indexing data for sites that have already switched to mobile-first. Google said this only impacts “properties that have been migrated to mobile first indexing.”
What changed with the index coverage report? Google said the only data impacted in this report is related to the “error counts” and “new issues” related notices. Going forward, this index coverage report will reflect the status of mobile-first indexing around those issues. Google said the “indexed page counts are not affected by this change.”
When did the index coverage report change? Starting on November 26, 2018 and going forward it has changed for properties that have already moved to the mobile-first indexing initiative, Google said. You would know if you moved because Google would have sent you a notification that your site/property has already moved. If not, Google is still using the desktop indexing data for this report, at least until you get a notification that your site has moved.
Google is dropping some of the old reports. Google has been posting notices throughout the old version of the Google Search Console letting users know that some of the reports are going away. The notices can currently be found in the old Google Search Console, within the Search Analytics report, Rich Results report, AMP report, Links report, Internal Links report, Manual Actions report, Mobile Usability report, Index Status report and Crawl Errors report. All these reports will be going away at some point in the future. Google has not given us a date.
The notice reads “Important: This report will soon be replaced by the new Search Console. Please update your links to point to the new Search Console.” Some of the notices link directly to the replacement report in the new version of the Google Search Console.
Why does it matter? With the index coverage report change, if you see changes in errors around November 26th and your site moved to mobile-first indexing, it may be related to how Google reports these errors. It does not impact your rankings, but it does impact the index coverage report. It is just a reporting change and has zero impact on your current rankings.
Regarding the notice that Google is removing some of the old reports in Google Search Console, Google said they are currently only removing reports that have replacements in the new version of the Google Search Console. In some cases that may mean you need to learn how to use a new report or change your day-to-day routine and start using the new report over the old one. But overall, Google said you should be able to get the data you want from the new reports. It will just take time for you to learn how to use them.