Google Search Console consists of various tools and resources that aid website owners, web marketers and SEO professionals to monitor performance of website in the Google Search Index.
Earlier, Google Search Console was known as Google Webmaster Central and later Google Webmaster Tools. Features of Google Search Console include information on search traffic, search appearance, crawl data, status updates and other useful resources.
Google Search Console in SEO
SEO professionals are on the constant lookout for powerful tools to make their website SEO optimized but most of them come with a cost. Google Search Console is a powerful yet free tool that marketers can leverage on to get all information about their website performance in one platform. It tracks the crawling and indexing statistics from Google and at the same time provides metrics to gauge a website for its visibility.
Set Up and Use of Google Search Console
The first step toward using Google Search Console is the setup and verification. You must create a Google Search Console property for every version of your website. Properties must be setup for versions and sub-folders. This helps in analyzing metrics for each section of your site.
After setup, verification comes next which can be done using HTML file upload, HTML tags, Domain name provider, Google Analytics and Google Tag manager. The various sections of Google Search Console are:
Search Appearance is one of the main sections of Google Search Console. This helps webmasters to find out how their web site is set up and how it may show up on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Within this section, you can get information about structured markup, metadata, Rich cards and so on.
The next section in Google Search Console is Search Traffic. This section is helpful in giving insights on the keywords that your website is showing up for, linking metrics from various sources, and the mobile compatibility of your site.
Search Analytics is an important part of this section as it lists your site’s keywords. There are sub-sections in this tab such as metrics of each page, devices, regions, search type (images, videos), search appearance and so on.
The next important tab is the Mobile Usability tab that says if your site is mobile compatible or not. This needs to be checked to see if your site works correctly on all mobile devices.
The third section of Google Search Console is the Google Index. This helps to show what all pages are there in Google Index and if any resources are blocked on the site.
There is an index status tab that says if Google is indexing all pages that you want to appear in SERPs. It gives the stats as to whether the pages are growing consistently and not dropping off quickly.
The Blocked Resources tab is the best way to identify if any pages are blocked by Google. This will help you to ensure the optimization of crawling of the relevant pages by Google.
The Remove URL tab is to temporarily remove the URLs that are not needed. This removes the URLs for about 90 days.
The last section of the Google Search Console is the Crawl section. This provides webmasters information about broken pages and links on the website, crawl stats from Google and URL information. This section also contains tools to submit your content and sitemap to Google.
The Crawl Errors tab brings up the errors in terms of broken links anywhere in the website.
The second useful tab is the Sitemaps tab because it helps to submit your sitemap to Google and make your site crawled and indexed by it.
Fetch as Google tab can be used to submit your individual pages to Google. This way, you can get your updated content to be indexed quickly as well.
Google Search Console is an efficient and powerful tool for various reasons. It is a must have tool when you begin your SEO campaign to increase your organic visibility and plan the overall strategy.