Google announced they are removing three features from Google Webmaster Tools. Google made the announcement on the Google Webmaster Central blog saying the three features going away include the site performance report, the subscriber stats and the robots.txt creation tool.
Google placed reversed the order of these features when they wrote about it, trying to mitigate the importance of removing some of these features. Site Performance going away is going to be frustrating for a lot of Google Webmaster Tools users. Subscriber stats is not as important and robots.txt is really not a big deal for most webmasters.
Site performance is a Webmaster Tools Labs feature that provides information about the average load time of your site’s pages. This feature is also being removed due to low usage. Now you might have heard our announcement from a couple of years ago that the latency of a site’s pages is a factor in our search ranking algorithms. This is still true, and you can analyze your site’s performance using the Site Speed feature in Google Analytics or using Google’s PageSpeed online. There are also many other site performance analysis tools available like WebPageTest and the YSlow browser plugin.
Subscriber stats reports the number of subscribers to a site’s RSS or Atom feeds. This functionality is currently provided in Feedburner, another Google product which offers its own subscriber stats as well as other cool features specifically geared for feeds of all types. If you are looking for a replacement to Subscriber stats in Webmaster Tools, check out Feedburner.
The Create robots.txt tool provides a way to generate robots.txt files for the purpose of blocking specific parts of a site from being crawled by Googlebot. This feature has very low usage, so we’ve decided to remove it from Webmaster Tools. While many websites don’t even need a robots.txt file, if you feel that you do need one, it’s easy to make one yourself in a text editor or use one of the many other tools available on the web for generating robots.txt files.
Image credit to ShutterStock.