How Google Webmaster Affects Your SEO.
If you are running a website for your personal use or a customer, you will not be able to miss out on Google Search Console. This free analysizing tool was previously known as Google Webmaster Tools.
In April 2015, this version was supplemented with new features and renamed.
The online tool, whose full functionality is available through a single registration, is intended to aid beginners as well as experienced webmasters in website optimization.
How Google Search Console Helps.
With Google Search Console (GSC), Google provides Webmasters with a powerful tool. The latter does not only allow access to interesting statistics, but it also makes it possible to manage relevant SEO parameters and protect against malware.
As Google attaches great importance to websites being solidly programmed and sources of error minimized, using Search Console is completely free. The goal of the search engine is indeed to offer as many quality web pages as possible on its results pages. Google, therefore, makes an effective website optimization tool available to administrators.
What exactly is the Google Search Console?
The Google Search Console, short for Search Console or GSC, is a free web analytics service from the search engine giant, which replaced Google Webmaster Tools. The site and mobile application administrators can register with the service to gain access to a variety of useful features and statistics. The Google tool alerts in particular to notable duplications of content, search problems recorded by the Google bot, or weaknesses in the site’s mobile implementation. Also, the functions of the tool include a check of the sitemap and existing structured data, but also a deep analysis of the important keywords for which a website is ranked in the results of the Google search engine.
How to use the Google Search Console.
To use the Google tool, you will need to register your website (or Android app) by entering its URL in Search Console.
For that you need :
- A valid Google account
Verification of the web project with the site owner
After logging into your Google account and submitting the URL of the site in question or the desired subdomain, it is necessary to verify that the domain belongs to you.
This is possible thanks to the TXT entry of the DNS configurations of the domain provider, with Google explaining the procedure in a clear dialog box.
Google Search Console: dialog box to check who owns the site.
Google advises that the verification may take a while and may not be successful immediately.
Unlike many other SEO tools, GSC data is not public. The data is only accessible by the operators of the site. Once ownership is verified, you are ushered into the Search Console dashboard. However, you’ll notice that the data is not yet visible. Simply because this data must be processed by Google.
Depending on the size of the site to be checked, the process may take a few days.
The main functions of Google Search Console.
The Google Search Console provides many functions for administering and monitoring various settings of a website. The user thus obtains invaluable indications for the optimization of his Internet site.
Already in the dashboard that opens by default when you start the GSC, you can observe which are your important statistics as well as the novelties:
The “Overview” part of the GSC summarizes important information about your site.
The various CGS tools are accessible from the left menu. They are divided into six categories, which we will explain in more detail in the following sections:
- URL Inspection
- Safety measures and manual actions
In the “Performance” section, the Google Search Console lists the central performance data of the domain name studied, in particular the total number of impressions and clicks (with the resulting click-through rate) as well as the average position of the pages. in the Google ranking.
Also, as with Google Analytics, one can get detailed information about what is behind the impressions and clicks. Webmasters can thus learn about the queries that were entered before landing on the site, but also which URLs are receiving the most traffic. Also, it is possible to see with which devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) Internet users have consulted your pages, from which country, and what the display looks like in the search results. This last option takes into account the following possibilities:
- Results in Rich Media format
- Rich FAQ search results
- Web Light Results
- Results accelerated mobile pages without rich media
- Article accelerated mobile pages
All performance data is available not only for Google search but also for image and video search. Data from the last 7 or 28 days, or the last 3, 6, 12, or even 16 months can be used as a basis.
URL checking is a simple but very powerful tool. It can be used through the left menu or directly in the search field of the top menu of Google Search Console. Any URL belonging to a verified domain can thus be inspected for its indexing status. Also, Search Console provides advice on how to improve your page if it needs optimization, for example regarding usability on mobile devices.
The “Index” part of the GSC includes two analysis functions. You will first find all the information on the indexing of your entire site. The Search Console presents, on the one hand, all the pages that are indexed, and on the other hand, all the pages excluded from indexing. For the latter case, the tool provides figures to understand this exclusion. For example, we can consider the following categories:
- Exclusion by the ” noindex ” tag
- Alternative page with canonical tag
- Page crawled but still not indexed
- Page found but still not indexed
- Blocked by robots.txt file
- Crawling anomaly
- 404 error
In the ” Sitemaps ” part, the second section of the Index panel, the user can submit the entire sitemaps of their web project for Google to review.
Under the “Improvements” menu, Webmasters can use concrete suggestions from Google to optimize the usability of their site.
The Mobile-First approach is thus put in the foreground, and this is why most of the advice aims to allow an optimal display of sites on smartphones or tablets. For example, users may receive advice on specific Accelerated Mobile Pages errors or typical weak points, such as often hard-to-read blocks of text or hard-to-click buttons.
Safety measures and manual actions.
Google has set quality guidelines for Webmasters to which it is good to comply to rank well in search engines. If you try unconventional methods to improve your SEO, you risk facing sanctions from the internet giant, the possible penalties being a degradation of your ranking or even in the worst case a total deletion of your entry in search results. In the ” Manual actions ” section, you can check if you are affected by this problem.
The second entry, namely ” Security issues ” also provides information on the security level of the web application concerned. If Google detects a security issue, it presents them to the search engine giant, whether it’s spam, malware, or unusual downloads.
Internal and external links are among the most important building blocks of a successful website. Well placed, they offer added value to visitors and are therefore highly valued by Google. It is therefore no accident to find in the “Links” section of the Google Search Console detailed data on the inbound and outbound links of your site.
The list of external links can also be exported.
Comparison between the old and the new Google Search Console
Since Google Webmaster Tools was renamed Google Search Console, the Google Web Analytics suite has undergone some changes.
The completely revised version of the GSC was finally released in 2018 after a long beta phase. It also contains a button that allows you to return to the old version.
In most cases, however, users should no longer find any data there.
Among the most important new features of the new Search Console are:
- A new version for web analytics that works great on mobile devices.
- Optimized display of all data, including new filter options
- Performance indications on queries made, clicks, etc. can be recovered for the last 16 months. Previously, only data for the last three months was available
- Much more detailed information on each of the pages taken individually
- A better overview of indexing issues and other errors as well as simpler solutions for re-indexing
- Improved reports for the new version of Google Search Console
With the Google Search Console, you can have a complete overview of the technical condition of your website. Whether it’s the number of clicks and impressions, indexing status, or links, Google provides valuable information, which usually can only be accessed with paid tools. With GSC, it’s free.
The Search Console is considered a good tool for optimizing your SEO, and also provides both beginners and professionals with valuable information.
But doesn’t Google Analytics already offer a powerful analytical tool?
While Google Analytics shows how users behave on a website, where they click, and how much time they spend on the site, Google Search Console shows how the search engine evaluates the site in question from a technical point of view.
The GSC, therefore, helps to better understand how the Google crawler indexes a page and how it comes to define its position in the search results.
Google Search Console is not only a good starting point for analyzing data and optimizing your website, but it is also an important communication channel between Webmasters and Google.
If you are wondering how this works or can work for your business, feel free to send us a message.