Google announced yesterday that improvements have been made to Google Search Console reports. This includes support for regular expressions within the filters of the performance reports, and improved data filtering in comparison mode.
“This will help you create more complex query and page based filters and answer more questions that interest them,” said Google in a recent blog post.
For those who are unfamiliar, regular expressions, also known as regex, are text strings used in advance searches.
You can access the new and improved regular expressions in the performance report under a query or page filter – just select the dropdown menu and click “Custom.”
Here is an example provided by Google that explains what this looks like:
“Let’s say your company is called ‘cats and dogs’ but is sometimes also abbreviated as ‘cats & dogs’ or even ‘c&d’. You can use a regex filter to capture all of your branded queries by defining the regex filter: cats and dogs|cats & dogs|c&d.”
These updates should come as no surprise for regular console users, as many have been expecting such improvements to be rolled out over the past year.
In fact, in December 2020, an anxious Twitter user asked Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, if Google was planning to add regexp filter into the Google Search Console performance report.
John responded: “Yes, we have a plan. Unfortunately I can’t share it with you.”
Now, four months have passed and Google has finally revealed what it has been up to.
Despite the excitement being felt throughout the digital marketing industry, Google offered the following disclaimer regarding the new updates.
“Sometimes, queries and pages are not available in the reports to protect user privacy or due to storage limitations. In order to make sure our users are aware of this, we added a reminder that shows each time a relevant filter is applied on queries or pages.”
For more info on the updates to Google Search Console, you can check out Google’s official help document.