The 6 Most Valuable Takeaways from Google Webmaster Tools

White Shark Media

8 years ago

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Website owners and website developers use Google Webmaster Tools to diagnose, analyze, and optimize their websites.

If you’re not using this free feature, I strongly suggest to start using it as soon as possible, and you will start gaining insights about your site keyword impressions, keyword positioning, search queries and more.

I hereby present the 6 Biggest takeaways from Google Search Console.

1) The Alternative to Not Provided from Google Analytics

Since the (not provided) message showed up in your Google Analytics report, it is impossible to figure out which keywords are the most productive for your site. Even though things are not like they used to be, you can still access some of the keyword juice that you lost.

The good thing is that Google provides insights into impressions and clicks that allow you to see how visitors are reaching your site. In your Webmaster Tools, you can find historical data on the search queries tab. Using the data from this tab and Google Analytics, you will get relevant information about your keywords.

Through Webmaster Tools, you will be able to discover data prior to 90 days. In the search analytics tab, you can filter information by impressions, clicks, CTR, or position based on queries, landing pages, country, device, search type, or dates.

2) Monitor your Site’s Link Profile

With the “Links to Your Site” feature, you can keep track of which websites are linking to your site. If your site has more than 100.000 links, Google might not list all the backlinks. When you click on “Search Traffic” and then “Links to Your Site”, you can see a list of other websites that link back to yours. There are three subsections within this page:

  • Who links the most
  • Your most linked content
  • How your data is linked

3) Get Notified About Your Site Issues/Penalties

Monitoring your site can help you take quick actions against penalties or get notified when your site is not accessible by the Google Web Crawlers. You can set up Google Webmaster Tools to send you email notifications so you’ll be notified quickly, even if you plan to do other stuff besides monitoring the site on the tool.

To access this feature, you can go to the Search Traffic tab, and select Manual Actions sub-tab. If you see the message “No manual webspam actions found.”, This means you have no violations. If something is listed, you will need to take the appropriate action to clean up the infraction.

4) Ask Google to Test Your Website

This feature allows you to see if there are any issues with your website and if any resources or files are being blocked that will hinder Google from fully rendering and understanding your website. To access this tool click on Crawl and then Fetch as Google.

5) Identify Broken Pages on Your Site

When people come to your store they expect to find a product, if they can’t find that product they will leave. The same thing happens on your site; if they click on a URL it’s because they are interested in your product or your service, and they expect to read about it on your site.

In this tab, you will find data about URL/site related errors that were identified when GoogleBot was crawling your website so you can fix the problems and improve the user experience. When people can’t access your site or certain pages from your site, they’ll go back to the search results page and click on another link. It renders all your SEO efforts useless and nobody wants that.

In Google Webmaster Tools, you’ll have data about URL/site related errors that were identified when GoogleBot was crawling your website so you can fix that problem and improve the user experience.

If the page URL was recently changed you will need to create a 301 redirect so when the user accesses your site through the old URL it will take you to the new one without throwing an error known as 404 pages.

In this example, we had around 4 errors during September and were fixed by redirecting them to other URLs. 

Pro tip: When you redirect an old URL to a new one, make sure the old URL content matches or is similar to the new content, if not Google might think you’re trying to steal some value from old links that are not related.

6) Sitelinks

According to Google, Sitelinks are automatically generated links that may appear under your site’s search results. Here’s an example of what our site links look like:

Google will crawl your website and will identify your site architecture. The goal is for Google to discover which are the most important and relevant pages and display those as your site links.

The great thing about the Google Search Console is that it allows you to remove any site links you don’t want to show. By clicking on Search Appearance and then Sitelinks, you can demote a Sitelink URL and have it removed from the search results. This way you can ensure that only the best and most relevant site links are present for your website.

Google Search Console Provides Power Features

Google Webmaster Tools can be a little overwhelming at the beginning with the different features it provides. If you want to be a real Google Webmaster Tools expert, focus first on learning one feature at a time, and master it.

The purpose of this article is to create a general idea of how useful Webmaster Tools can be. Building a healthy website that continues to grow, offer incredible user experience, and performs amazingly well in a search engine’s result, is not easy. What do you think about Webmaster Tools and the different takeaways?