After many months of Google teasing us that Google Search Console will gain support for regular expressions, even sharing a help document around it, Google has finally launched regex support in the performance report filters.
And yes, the SEO industry is super excited about the launch. Here is what is new.
Regular Expressions in Performance Report
Google said it added regular expressions, or regex – which is an advanced way of doing complex filtering and find/replace techniques. Google said “this will help you create more complex query and page based filters and answer more questions that interest them. For instance, 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.”
To use the new regex filter, create a query or page filter, select the dropdown menu and select Custom. Google has a help document, but it is not fully live yet, you should be able to see it soon over here.
Google did add this disclaimer saying “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.”
Here is what it looks like (click to enlarge):
Improvements to Comparison Mode
The Google Search Console performance report comparison mode now fully supports cases where more than a single metric is selected. Previously, if more than one metric was selected, the table wouldn’t contain a comparison column with the relative difference in percentage, Google explained.
Also Google has improved the interface to make it easier to view those results side-by-side, almost doubling the area available for the data table. Plus the comparison mode now supports the new regex filter for queries and pages, as noted above.
The help document for this is currently live and working.
Here is what this report looks like:
SEOs Love It
Early feedback shows SEOs are super happy about this:
Search Console now has RegEx filtering and comparison mode!!
— Pedro Dias (@pedrodias) April 7, 2021
Whoa, regex hits GSC! Love this addition. Daniel and his team are on fire. 🙂 https://t.co/A5giMEOPi6
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) April 7, 2021
Oh hey! GSC changes. I’m excited to dig into these! https://t.co/vrRqZJLVbp
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) April 7, 2021
Woohoo! So happy we now have regex filters in the Search Console Performance reports 🥳 a dream come true, right?! 😏 https://t.co/AOyHWfJtBw pic.twitter.com/J5mQpPAv4M
— Daniel Waisberg (@danielwaisberg) April 7, 2021
— Christian Oliveira (@christian_wilde) April 7, 2021
Me after seeing regex filter in GSC pic.twitter.com/6HtsaLiWUv
— Rajeev Lekhwar 📊🤖📈☮️ (@PanditRajeev22) April 7, 2021
— Tobias Vuorelma (@TVuorelma) April 7, 2021
— Suganthan Mohanadasan (@Suganthanmn) April 7, 2021
— Marta Romera (@Martarromsua) April 7, 2021
Thanks @googlesearchc, regex is a huge step forward! If y’all could add functionality to the SC API or not dynamically change names/IDs so Selenium works…that would be great. https://t.co/TQhChIHQV9
— Brian Shumway (@b_shumway) April 7, 2021
🙌 Two of the most useful updates that could have been made. This will save so much time. https://t.co/7KNflZN6Dh
— Andrew Prince (@AndrewPrince16) April 7, 2021
Thank you, @googlesearchc!!!
Before, users could filter queries & page URLs according to three patterns: containing a string, not containing a string, exactly matching a string. Previously, it didn’t support complex cases like queries containing one out of a few optional strings https://t.co/ab2XCD5mfP
— Jeannie Hill (@essentialskill) April 7, 2021
— Ruth⁷ (@rvtheverett) April 7, 2021
Immediately refreshed my GSC tab and was shook https://t.co/xiLhdKTL0k pic.twitter.com/O2S5ZGPENc
— Chloe Ivy Rose 🧚🏻 (@chloeivyroseseo) April 7, 2021
— Dan Nutter (@VeryDanNutter) April 7, 2021
Forum discussion at Twitter.