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Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. As of May 20, 2015, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console. It has tools that let webmasters:
The list of inbound links on Google Webmaster Tools is generally much larger than the list of inbound links that can be discovered using the link:example.com search query on Google itself. Google is tight lipped about the discrepancy. The list on Google Webmaster Tools includes nofollow links that do not convey search engine optimization authority to the linked site. On the other hand, the list of links generated with a link:example.com type query are deemed by Google to be "important" links in a controversial way. Google Webmaster Tools, as well as the Google index, seems to routinely ignore link spam. Once a manual penalty has been removed, Google Webmaster Tools will still display the penalty for another 1-3 days. After the Google Search Console rebrand, information has been produced demonstrating that Google Search Console creates data points that do not reconcile with Google Analytics or ranking data, particularly within the local search market.
Google typically takes 24-72 hours to remove the message within the "Manual Actions" section of Google Webmaster Tools.
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