Anyone looking after a website for their own purposes or for a customer can hardly get around them: the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). This online tool. Which is fully available after a single sign-on Is a useful aid to website optimization for both novice and experienced webmasters.
The Google Search Console (GSC) gives Google webmasters a powerful tool. Not only does the tool make it easy to make SEO-related settings on its website. It also gives you access to informative statistics, and the tool warns you if malware has crept into your site. Since Google emphasizes that websites are solidly programmed from the ground up and the sources of error are limited. The use of the Search Console is completely free. After all, the purpose of the search engine is to show users as many high-quality pages as possible in the search results. Consequently, the website operators are also provided with optimization tools for their web presence.
What Exactly is The Google Search Console?
Search Console or GSC is a free, web-based analytics service provided by search engine giant Google Which replaced Google Webmaster Tools in 2015. Website owners and mobile app providers can sign up for the service to get access to a variety of useful features and statistics. Among other things, the Google tool informs about existing duplicate content. Registered crawling problems of the Google bot or weaknesses in the mobile implementation of the site. It also includes reviewing the sitemap and existing structured data on the tool’s features – as well as profound one analysis of key keywords for which a website ranks in Google’s search results.
Google will contact webmasters who have registered their Search Console projects as soon as any issues have been reported on the site or app. This contact usually takes place first by e-mail – with larger complications however also the telephone exchange with the support team is possible.
How do I Use the Google Search Console?
And to be able to use the tool, you register your website (or Android app) with the corresponding URL in the Search Console. The usage conditions are
- Valid Google Account
- The verification of the web project by the website owner.
After signing in with your Google Account and submitting the URL to your website or subdomain, you’ll need to verify ownership of the domain. This can be achieved by using a TXT entry in the DNS configuration of the respective domain provider. Whereby Google explains the necessary procedure in the following dialog window:
Unlike many other SEO tools, GSC data is not public. Access is only available to those who identify themselves as operators of the site. Once the ownership has been confirmed, a corresponding confirmation of success will be issued. Click on ” To Property ” to get to the Dashboard of Search Console. However, there is no data to be seen there initially, as Google must first process this. Depending on how complex and extensive the respective web project is, this process can take several days.
Key Features of The Google Search Console
The Google Search Console has many features that help manage and monitor site parameters. The user gains valuable hints for the optimization through them. The webmaster gets a summary of the most important insights already in the dashboard (“overview”), which is opened by default at the start of the GSC and clearly presents the most important statistics and innovations:
The various tools that are part of the GSC can be accessed via the left-hand side menu of the web analytics suite. They are divided into the following six categories, which are explained in more detail in the following sections:
- URL check
- Safety & Manual Measures
In the “Performance” section, Google Search Console lists the key performance data of the domain under review – the total number of impressions and clicks (including the resulting click-through rate) and the average position of the pages in the Google rankings.
Furthermore, as with Google Analytics, there is detailed information about the background of the page views and impressions. Webmasters not only know which search queries were used but also which URLs have the largest share of traffic. In addition, it is possible to see with which devices (desktop, mobile, tablet), from which countries visitors accessed the web application and how the display looked in the search results. The latter option takes into account, among others, the following factors:
- Results with Rich Media
- Q & A Rich Search Results
- Weight results
- Accelerated Mobile Pages results without Rich Media
- Accelerated Mobile Pages article
All performance information is not only available for Google web search, but also for image and video search – either the last 7 or 28 days or the last 3, 6, 12 or even 16 months as a database.
The URL Checker is a small but powerful tool that can be used via the left-hand side menu or directly from the search box in the top menu bar of the Google Search Console. Any URL that belongs to the verified domain can be checked for indexing status in this way. If a page is not yet in the Google index, it can be applied at the same place. In addition, the Search Console provides tips for improving the page, if there is a need for optimization – for example, in terms of usability on mobile devices.
The GSC category ” Index ” consists of two analysis functions: Under ” Coverage ” you will find all information for indexing the entire web project. On the one hand, the Search Console presents all pages that are indexed, and on the other hand, all pages that are excluded from indexing. In the latter case, the tool also provides figures on the reasons for not taking into account. For example, there are the following classifications:
- Excluded by ” noindex ” tag
- Alternative page with proper canonical day
- Page with forwarding
- Crawled but not currently indexed
- Found but not currently indexed
- Blocked by robots.txt file
- Crawl anomaly
“Sitemaps”, the second division in the index function group. It allows the user to Sitemaps submitted its own Web project or view submitted and recognized by Google Sitemaps.
The menu item “Improvements” allows webmasters to retrieve specific suggestions from Google for the sake of user-friendliness. The mobile-first approach is given the highest priority. Which is why most of the tips are aimed at optimizing the presentation of the project on smartphones and tablets. For example, users will be notified of specific errors in Accelerated Mobile Pages or typical vulnerabilities – such as hard-to-read text blocks or poorly clickable elements.
Safety and Manual Measures
Google has set webmaster quality guidelines to stick to if you want a smooth and fair ranking in search engine search rankings. Anyone attempting to manipulate the search index should expect Google to impose penalties. With the possible penalty ranging from grading the ranking to completely deleting the search results. In the section ” Manual measures “, users can check whether their own project is affected by such a measure.
The second entry, called ” Security Issues, ” also informs you how secure your web application is. If Google detects security deficits. It presents the search engine giant at this point – whether it is spam, malware or unusual downloads.
Internal and external links are among the most important building blocks of a successful web presence. Meaningful links provide visitors with added value and are one of the reasons why Google is very popular. It is no coincidence that Google Search Console provides the menu. ” Links detailed data on all existing inbound and outbound links.” Thanks to this function, the list of external links can even be exported.
Comparison Between New and Old Google Search Console
Since the renaming of Google Webmaster Tools to Search Console. The Google Web Analytics suite has undergone several minor and major changes. Only in 2018, after a long beta phase, a new, extensively revised GSC version appeared, which, moreover, still has a button to return to the old version – in most cases. Users are likely to find but no more data at this point.
Key New Features of the New Google Search Console Include:
- The new version of Web Analytics Suite works great on mobile devices.
- Optimized display of all data including new filter options.
- Performance data for search queries. Clicks and the like can be retrieved for the last 16 months. Previously, only information from the last 3 months were available
- Information about individual pages is much more detailed.
- Better overview of crawl issues and other errors as well as easier reindexing.
- The current Google Search Console includes new and improved reports.
SEO Benefits of the GSC: Essential Standard Tool
The Google Search Console gives you a comprehensive overview of the technical state of a website. Whether the number of clicks and impressions. Indexing status or link profile. Google provides valuable information that you would otherwise often only be able to obtain via paid third party – and completely free. Search Console is one of the standard tools for search engine optimization and provides valuable information for both beginners and professionals.
But do not you Already have a Powerful Analytics Tool with Google Analytics?
While Google Analytics shows how users behave on a site. What they click, and how long they stay where on the site. Google Search Console shows how the search engine judges the site in terms of technology. So Google Search Console helps to better understand. How the Google crawler indexes a page and how it finds its position in the search results.