Google Webmaster Tools Spring Cleaning
Recently Google announced on their official Google Webmaster Central Blog that they are removing three features from Google Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools added lots of new features and functionality over the past year, such as improvements to Sitemaps and Crawl errors, as well as the new User Administration feature. Also huge changes in the look and user interface to match the Google’s new style. Google said, in the latest round of spring cleaning they will be removing the Subscriber stats feature, the Create robots.txt tool, and the Site performance feature in the next two weeks.
Following tools will be removing from Google Webmaster Tools
Subscriber stats reports the number of subscriber to a site’s RSS or Atom feeds. This functionality is currently provided in Feedburner, another Google product which offers its own subscriber stats as well as other cool features specially geared for feeds of all types. If you are looking for a replacement to Subscriber stats in Webmaster Tools, check out Feedburner.
The Create robots.txt tool provides a way to generate robots.txt files for the purpose of blocking specific parts of a site from being crawled by Googlebot. This feature has very low usage, so Google decided to remove it from Webmaster Tools. While many websites don’t even need a robots.txt file, if you feel that you do need one, it’s easy to make one yourself in a text editor or use one of the many other tools available on the web for generating robots.txt files.
Site Performance is Webmaster Tools labs feature that provides information about the average load time of your site’s pages. This feature is also being removed due to low usage. Google says you have heard about their announcement from a couple of years ago that the latency of a site’s pages is a factor in their search ranking algorithms. This is still true, and you can analyze your site’s performance using the Site Speed feature in Google Analytics or using Google’s Page Speed online. There are also many other site performance analysis tools available like WebPage Test and the Yslow browser plugin.