News & Updates

Regular Expressions in Google Search Console

April 09, 2021 03:40:02 PM

Regular Expressions in Google Search Console

On July 6, 2020, Google announced that the Regular Expressions filter would soon be available on the Google Search Console performance report filters. Google has finally released this feature in the performance report filters to help site owners and SEOs get an additional filter to their performance report.

Regular Expressions in Performance Report

The site owner can use regular expression filters for user queries and page URLs.

  • The regular expression can match everywhere in the target string unless you use ^ or $ to require matching from the string's start or end, respectively.
  • You can use "(?i)" at the beginning of your regular expression string for case-insensitive matches. Example: (?i)https

Here are a few basic regular expressions:

Wildcard:
.
Description:

It matches any single character.
"a.d" matches "aed" and "aad" but not "aeed"

Wildcard:

[characters]

Description:

It matches any single item inside [ ].

"c[aie]t" matches "cat", "cit", and "cet"
"i[o0-9]n" matches "ion" and "i7n" but not "ian"

Wildcard:

*

Description:

It matches the preceding letter or pattern zero or more times:

"fo*d" matches "fd", "fod", "food", and "foooooooood"
"https*://example" matches http://example" and "https://example"

Wildcard:

+

Description:

It matches the preceding letter or pattern 1 or more times
"fo+d" matches "fod", "food", "foooooooood" but not "fd"

Wildcard:

|

Description:

OR operator matches either the expression before or after the | operator.
"Amman|Irbid" matches both "I love Amman" and "I love Irbid"

Wildcard:

\d

Description:

One digit 0-9
"\d\d\d abc" matches "123 abc"

Wildcard:

\D

Description:

Any non-digit (for example, any letter, or characters such as + or , or ?)
"\D\D\D 123" matches "aaa 123" but not "123 123"

Wildcard:

\s

Description:

Any whitespace (tab, space)
"1\s2\s3" matches "1 2 3"

Wildcard:

\S

Description:

Any non-whitespace.
(\S)+ matches "fire" "and" "ice" in the string "fire and ice", but none of the spaces, and not the whole string.

Wildcard:

(?i)

Description:

At the start of your expression, allows case-insensitive matching.
"(?i)HTTPS" matches "https", "Https", and "HTTPS"
"https" matches "https" but not "HTTPS"

Wildcard:

^

Description:

At the start of your expression, limits matches to the start of the target string.
"^example" matches "example" but not "an example"
"example" matches both "example" and "an example"

Why is it so important to have regular expressions in Search Console?

The lack of a regular expressions filter was, in my opinion, Google Search Console's biggest flaw. Before this update, a dimension could only have one filter active at a time. So, for example, if you wanted to filter queries to include both "sale" and "clearance," you'd have to export them to Google Sheets or Excel because it wasn't available in the platform. You can save a lot of time with the new regex feature!

Conclusion

If you're not familiar with regular expressions, it will take some time to become acclimated to them, but trust us when we say it's well worth the effort. You may expedite your study and gain more insight into the organic performance of your website. On the other hand, insights can only get your business so far; you'll need qualified SEO experts to turn your information into practical methods to boost your organic performance.

Big thanks to Google Search Console for launching this exciting feature, as I'm sure it's an excellent addition to help us get more with the performance report.

Automate Your Entire Marketing and Sales Processes

As a HubSpot solutions partner, we can work with you every step of the way to automate your entire marketing and sales processes.

Learn More »