If you’ve ever tried to contact Google directly for an answer to a question about a problem, then you will know that is very difficult, even impossible to achieve. When it comes to understanding the issues you may come across with ranking a website, Google keeps its cards close to its chest – instead, it provides tools so you can investigate for yourself, and Google Search Console is one of these.
The company used to have a product known as Google Analytics which was very good at helping you understand a lot of information about your website. Recently, Google has changed the information held there and it it is no longer as useful a tool as it once was. There is, however, a solution to these problems, a free tool known as the Google Webmaster Tool, or now as the Google Search Console.
- The features of the Google Search Console
- How to use it with your site
- Why you should use it
What Is The Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console is better known to many by the name ‘Google Webmaster Tools’. It was renamed, however, it still offers the same useful tools and information. After logging in with your own Google account, you can add any sites you own or operate.
A code needs to be added to your website, so as you can prove that you are the website owner. Once you do that, then after a few days, the first data will appear about your website. It contains some interesting statistics, as well as important insights, news, analysis and other useful information.
If your site is downgraded in Google’s rankings, or even completely blocked, many website owners panic because they don’t know what exactly the problem is. In the Search Console, there’ll be information directly from Google if there are serious problems.
This could be, for example:
- Crawl errors, in which the Google robot is no longer able to crawl your website
- Malware issues on your website that may have been introduced by hackers
- Spam actions by Google against your website, because it may have suspicious backlinks
For any serious problems, the Search Console is invaluable for site owners.
Modern sites use so-called ‘structured data’ to represent specific content, which in turn is specially interpreted in Google search results. As an example, if stars are used in reviews, if structured properly, they can appear as an actual star icon in search results, making your website more noticeable and professional-looking.
This Schema.org data can be analyzed with the Google Search Console and even be created by it. Other search elements, such as Sitelinks which are only partially displayed in search results, can be influenced. And last but not least, under HTML Improvements on the Search Console, there are useful tips to improve search-engine optimisation.
So duplicate meta descriptions or missing titles will be listed.
Website owners used to Google Analytics for some time now can no longer access the search terms that searchers use on Google to find your website. 99 per cent of these search terms are no longer sent to Analytics. These keyword phrases are very important for website owners to help plan out the best content.
Thanks to the Search Console, though, you regain access to this keyword data. You can see the 999 most common keywords that your own website is found for. Impressions in the search results, clicks on individual pages and the average position of pages in the search results are available.
Finally, Google shows the backlinks that the search engine has found. These are great for improving content and search-engine optimisation, and are very useful.
Also of interest are the details of the indexed pages of your website. it’s possible to submit a sitemap, which helps Google better understand your website. If you have something on your website that Google can’t evaluate properly, Search Console will also flag up these issues. One particularly useful feature is a list of the most frequent keywords in the content.
Benefits And Monitoring
Initially, Google Search Console can look quite daunting. The various statistics and reports only make sense if you take the time to understand what they all mean, but when you do, the info within can really help improve your website. All good webmasters use Google Search Console, as it can be a very helpful resource.