Webmaster Tool Explanation – Google Search Console
With the tool both websites and applications can be analyzed and monitored. Besides centralized information about on-page and off-page factors, users can also receive notifications about unnatural links, if their website or the status of a site or application registered via Search Console is compromised.
What is the latest Google Webmaster Tool?
Very early on, the Google search engine gave its users the opportunity to analyze sites for free. Google Webmaster Tools allowed the analysis and verification of central on- and off-page aspects of a website. On May 20, 2015, Webmaster Tools was not only officially renamed Google Search Console, but in fact, a further expansion of the Services, which mostly includes search analysis.
Google has given a reason to rename it to Google Search Console which is that many beginners or small website operators have been put off using the tool due to the description of “webmaster”.
It is important to Google that webmasters and SEOs use the free analysis tool. Because, on the one hand, this increases the likelihood of a well-optimized website, which improves the quality of search results. On the other hand, the console provides the opportunity for Google to directly contact the site operators if there are problems with the website.
Search Console components
- Info panel: Here users quickly receive all the central data about search analysis, sitemaps and crawl errors. Moreover, the dashboard displays all the recent notifications of the console.
- Display in search: It’s a little hidden here but in this section you’ll find analytics for meta information as well as AMP site verification, structured data, rich tags, and a data highlighter.
- Search queries: This tool provides accurate data about click rates, rank and impressions in the SERP. Furthermore, internal link analysis tools as well as the links provided are summarized here. Webmasters can also find information about international orientation, link warnings, and mobile-friendliness.
- Google index: The website indexing status can be found here. The section also includes a tool for temporary removal of URLs from the index and a tool to analyze resources, which are blocked by robots.txt.
- crawling: In this part, users have the opportunity to recall errors as well as statistics. Furthermore, the robots.txt file as well as the sitemap.xml file can be tested there. Also, sites can be called as seen by Googlebot. URLs can also be sent directly to the Google index via this tool.
Requirements for using Search Console
In order to use Search Console, users need a valid Google account. Login is done by entering the correct email address and password. After this entire site, subdomains, directories, individual subpages, or applications can be registered to the console.
To ensure the availability of the corresponding functions, the location must first be confirmed. Google offers different methods for this. This allows the website to be confirmed with the help of a valid Analytics account. It is also possible to upload your HTML file to the server. The safest way is also to insert the meta element into a file
Besides these common procedures, there are also other alternatives such as confirming ownership via a domain name provider or Google Tag Manager.
After successful confirmation of the website, data from Search Console can be linked to Google Analytics data, allowing analysis options to be expanded.
The most important functions of Google Search Console
With Google Search Console, many different aspects of a website can be analyzed, examined, and monitored. One of the functions offered is essential for search engine optimization:
- HTML improvements: This analysis tool is located in the Display in Search area. Allows webmasters to check the length of the title and description. Furthermore, Search Console provides information about duplicate meta descriptions and meta titles. The results can be exported directly as a CSV file and can be used to enhance a website page.
- Data Highlighter : Data Highlighter is a useful alternative for displaying structured data. Users can use it to mark individual areas on the front end of a website and add the corresponding tags. Google then scans more sites in order to create a global site model. If a highlighter is used, viewing the source code with the markup is not mandatory.
- search analysis: Through search analysis, Google provides real ranking data on keywords relevant to the site. The data can be divided according to the region and by mobile / desktop. Moreover, click-through rate and impressions can be read. Based on this data, for example, snippets can be improved. At the same time, ranking development provides information about potential sanctions or candidates. However, only data from the last 90 days is shown. This allows the results to be exported via CSV.
- Links to your website: This is where Google lists the most important links to the home page as well as related subpages. These links can then be manually analyzed more precisely using additional tools regarding their quality for off-page optimization.
- Internal links: Ranking and visitor flows can be controlled through internal linking. Search Console provides important data on the quantity and link targets of the internal link.
- Indexing status: The curve with a website’s indexing status provides an indication of potential indexing problems. It should be continuous and, after expanding the site, point to the top.
- Crawl errors: SEO can find 404 errors or soft 404 errors here, which can affect site usability. It should be fixed as soon as possible.
- Crawl stats: These statistics show how often Google crawls the site and how much data is downloaded while doing so. Low activity, for example, can indicate that a website has not been fully crawled for a longer period of time and the content in the index may be out of date.
- Redeem as if by Google: This tool allows calling sites as seen by Googlebot. In this way, not only potential problems are shown, but the displayed URLs can also be sent directly to the Google index. It is also possible to submit the URL and all sub-pages associated with it to the index. This functionality, for example, is important if major content modifications are made to a website or after a penalty, so that new content can be re-indexed as quickly as possible.
- URL parameters: In order to optimize Googlebot’s crawl budget, URL parameters can be excluded here. This can be, for example, filters in online stores.
By the way: You don’t have to have concerns about Search Console, at least from a data protection point of view in Germany. Since the data that can be found is also retrieved by the search engine – it cannot be customized. This is why webmasters concerned about Google Analytics can also use Search Console. And they have to: because that’s the only place you can see which keywords are ranking and how many users are accessing subpages. These stats for crawling and indexing are important key numbers even for non-technical website administrators.
Likewise, Google’s ability to make contact with the website operator via Search Console should not be underestimated. This applies not only to penalties but also if a search result has been disqualified for copyright reasons or in other very unusual situations. No website operator should do without this.