Google Search Central is the new Google Webmasters following a change in branding that also comes with a new sidekick for Googlebot.
In a blog post explaining the change, Google says the term “Webmaster” is being phased out because it’s dated and declining in use.
“A user experience study we ran revealed that very few web professionals identify themselves as webmasters anymore. They’re more likely to call themselves Search Engine Optimizer (SEO), online marketer, blogger, web developer, or site owner, but very few “webmasters.”
Google “Search Central” more adequately represents the content published under the “Webmaster Central” channels. The name change applies to the Webmaster Central blog ands its social media accounts.
I presume that change applies to YouTube as well, meaning John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangouts will soon become Search Central hangouts.
The focus of content published under the “Search Central” name will still aim to help SEOs and site owners improve the visibility of their website in Google Search results.
“We will continue to create content for anyone who wants their websites to show up on Google Search, whether you’re just getting started with SEO or you’re an experienced web professional.”
Here’s a few other changes that will be made when the Search Central name rolls out in a few days.
Consolidating the Google Blogs
Google is consolidating its blogs and help documentation to one site.
All help documentation related to how Google Search works, crawling and indexing, search guidelines, and other search-related topics are moving to Google’s new Search Central site.
Google is also moving the main Webmaster Central blog, and 13 other localized blogs, over to the new site.
Going forward, all archived and new blog posts will appear on https://developers.google.com/search/blog.
Those who follow Google’s blog updates will not need to take any action in order to keep receiving them. Google will redirect the current set of RSS and email subscribers to the new blog URL.
Web professionals should benefit from these changes in the following ways:
- More discovery of related content (help documentation, localized blogs, event information, on one site)
- Easier to switch between languages (no longer have to find the localized blog URL)
- Better platform allows Google to maintain content, localize blog post more easily, and format posts consistently
Googlebot Mascot Gets a Sidekick
The Googlebot mascot will now appear with a web crawling sidekick – a spider robot.
The sidekick has yet to be named and Google is currently looking for suggestions.
“When we first met this curious critter, we wondered, “Is it really a spider?” After some observation, we noticed this spider bot hybrid can jump great distances and sees best when surrounded by green light.
We think Googlebot’s new best friend is a spider from the genus Phidippus, though it seems to also have bot-like characteristics.”
All of these changes are rolling out in the coming days. Time will tell how long it takes for SEOs to get used to saying “Search Central” instead of “Webmaster Central.”