Twenty years ago, every aspect of developing a website and putting it online was more complex than it is today – an enchantment of Merlin’s wand to most common folks. The term “webmaster” hasn’t aged well, but it was commonly used in a different era when tech wizards were the only people creating and managing websites. The term has become outmoded as online publishing and website building has become more user-friendly.
Google recently ran a study that showed usage of the term webmaster is in sharp decline, as web professionals now prefer more specialized terms, such as blogger, developer, SEO, or online marketer. In recognition of this change, the company is rebranding “Google Webmasters Central” to “Google Search Central.” The change will be rolled out to Google’s websites and social media within the next couple days.
In addition to the rebranding, Google is also centralizing its help information on one site and consolidating its blogs:
Moving forward, the Search Console Help Center will contain only documentation related to using Search Console. It’s also still the home of our help forum, newly renamed from “Webmasters Help Community” to “Google Search Central Community“. The information related to how Google Search works, crawling and indexing, Search guidelines, and other Search-related topics are moving to our new site, which previously focused only on web developer documentation.
The Google Webmasters blog and 13 other localized blogs are being moved to the new site for better discovery and easier language switching. Google is going to redirect current RSS and email subscribers to the new blog URL, so readers only need to update their bookmarks.
Google is also introducing a new jumping spider bot to accompany its Googlebot mascot in crawling the internet. The creature doesn’t yet have a nickname, but the company is soliciting suggestions.