Knowledge

Google Search Console launches regex support to allow for more complex queries

3-MINUTE READ - 8th April 2021

Marcus McConkey
Marcus McConkeyTechnical SEO Consultant

Google has launched two new improvements on Search Console to help make performance reports more insightful for businessowners and marketers. The updates aim to allow for more complex queries and page filters as well as more comprehensive comparison reports.

In this blog post, I will be explaining what these changes are and how they can better assist with your data analysis in Search Console.

Regex filters

Performance Reports already gave you the option to dissect and analyse your data using filters, but up until now there were only three options: containing a string, not containing a string, and exactly matching a string. This meant they weren’t able to support more complex queries outside of these patterns.

But with Search Console now supporting regular expressions (or regex), you’ll be able to create more complex queries and page filters to capture more queries related to your brand. For example, for brands with two parts to their name, like “Dolce & Gabbana”, there are likely to be a few different ways searchers refer to them when entering queries into the SERP. So, people might search for “Dolce & Gabbana”, “Dolce and Gabbana”, or “D&G”, and where you’d normally have to search for these strings one at a time, a regex filter ensures you can capture all the queries simultaneously.

As well as saving you a job or two, it can also be useful for brands to see how most of their customers are referring to them, so that you can either optimise your website to include these terms or aim to totally differentiate yourself from those terms if they don’t match up with your brand image.

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To test out the new regex filter, all you’ll need to do is go to create a page filter or query and use the dropdown menu to select ‘Custom (Regex)’ as illustrated above. For more help, Google has supplied a live testing tool where you can put regex filters into practice.

Enhanced comparison tables

The compare mode on Performance Reports has also seen a revamp, with Google now allowing full support for cases where more than one metric is selected. In previous cases where this was done, the table wouldn’t be able to show a comparison between the queries, with percentage differences. However, this new update will do just that, as well as giving you the opportunity to view your results side-by-side, so there’s no need to flick between tables and tabs.

As well as giving you richer and better presented data, it’s also worth noting that these tables support the new regex filters, meaning you’ll be able to compare multiple string queries here, too. But be aware that, although Performance Reports now allow for more than one metric to be compared, you can only apply one filter at a time to the metrics. By adding another on top, you will get rid of existing comparisons.

Keeping in the know with the latest Google Search Console updates is key for analysing and adjusting your organic search strategy. Here at Glass Digital, we can help you to keep up to speed with all the latest updates and improve your SEO results. Why not get in touch for a free consultation with one of our organic search experts?