Google announced the launch of a new URL Inspection API which allows an outside app to interact with Google’s search console and provide URL inspection data. The new API access will help SEOs and publishers discover more issues and debug problems with greater ease.
Search Console API Extends Usefulness of Data
The acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API can be thought of as a bridge that allows two software programs to communicate with each other.
For example, tools like Screaming Frog can use APIs to connect with Google Search Console and use that data to automate the process of discovering insights.
Connecting Screaming Frog to Search Console is through the Configuration tab then API > Google Search Console.
How to Enable Search Console API Access in Screaming Frog
The API currently allows Screaming Frog (and other apps) to collect data such as clicks, impressions, CTR, and position. The API can also be used to discover new URLs for crawling and adding orphaned URLs to site audit reports.
The Search Console API also enables WordPress plugins and many other SEO tools to access Search Console through the API in a secure manner.
Google offered examples for how this specific API access can be used:
- “For example, checking if there are differences between user-declared and Google-selected canonicals, or debugging structured data issues from a group of pages.
- CMS and plugin developers can add page or template-level insights and ongoing checks for existing pages. For example, monitoring changes over time for key pages to diagnose issues and help prioritize fixes.”
URL Inspection Tool API
The URL inspection tool provides valuable information about URLs that are indexed by Google. It provides information about indexing issues as well as errors in structured data and AMP.
The tool does not provide a way to test a live URL, that functionality cannot be accessed through the API.
According to Google’s developer documentation:
“View the indexed, or indexable, status of the provided URL. Presently only the status of the version in the Google index is available; you cannot test the indexability of a live URL.”
Google noted that there is a usage quota of 2,000 total queries per day and a speed limit of 600 queries per minute.
Nevertheless, the new URL Inspection Tool API opens up access for new ways to track progress of a website’s SEO and to help identify problems and come up with solutions. The new functionality should begin appearing in tools and plugins in the near future.