Google announced the launch of a new URL Inspection API that allows an external application 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 issues with greater ease.
Search Console API extends usefulness of data
The acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API can be considered as a bridge that allows two software to communicate with each other.
For example, tools like Screaming Frog can use APIs to connect to Google Search Console and use that data to automate the information discovery process.
Connecting Screaming Frog to Search Console is via the Setup tab then APIs > Google Search Console.
How to Enable Search Console API Access in Screaming Frog
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 to crawl and add orphan URLs to site audit reports.
The Search Console API also allows WordPress plugins and many other SEO tools to access Search Console through the API in a secure way.
Google has offered examples of using this specific API access:
- “For example, checking if there are any differences between the canonicals declared by the user and selected by Google, or debugging structured data issues for a group of pages.
- CMS and plugin developers can add page or template level information and ongoing checks of 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 indexed by Google. It provides information on indexing issues as well as errors in structured and AMP data.
The tool does not allow to test a live URL, this functionality is not accessible via the API.
From the Google developer documentation:
“Display the indexed or indexable status of the provided URL. Currently, only the version status 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 requests per day and a speed limit of 600 requests per minute.
Nonetheless, the new URL Inspection Tool API opens up access to new ways to track a website’s SEO progress and help identify issues and find solutions. The new feature should start appearing in tools and plugins in the near future.