Google Search Console is a Free software provided by Google which allows you to monitor, optimize and manage your site more effectively by providing you the required information related to your site that you won’t find anywhere.
Get the data, tools and diagnostics needed to create and maintain Google friendly websites and also mobile apps.
These webmaster tools will help you to find out
- How Google Bot will view your site.
- How your website appears in search results for specific keywords.
- How your audience interacts with those search results.
How to Setup Google Search Console
You need to consider Google search console as a primary tool and also setting up a Google Search console is very crucial for monitoring your SEO efforts and maintaining your website performance.
There are mainly two steps involved in order to setup Google search Console
- Setup a Google account
- Verifying your ownership
1.How to setup or create an account with Google.
You always need a Google account in order to use Google Search Console.
Step 1: Visit http://www.google.com.
Step 2: Click on Sign In.
Step 3: Choose “Create an account”
Step 4: Complete the form.
After signing up into Google account you just need to navigate into webmaster tools page which is located at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Enter your website URL or app and Click on Add property.
Note: In order to add another website or app, just click on “Add a property” button and then enter new website URL.
2.How to Verify your Ownership
There are several options to verify that you are the owner of the site.
It mainly involves two methods
- Recommended Method
- Alternate Method
In this method, you can use your html file to verify your site i.e., HTML File Upload
How to Download and Upload HTML file in order to verify your site.
Step 1: Download the HTML verification file.
Step 2: Upload the same HTML verification file on to your server.
Step 3: Run the uploaded file present in the server.
In this alternate method, there are 4 ways that you can use to verify your site.
- HTML Tag
- Domain Name Provider
- Google analytics
- Google Tag Manager
Finally, You need to decide on which is the best and easiest method to verify your site.
Below i will going to explain you on how to use HTML Tag, Domain Name Provider, Google analytics, Google Tag Manager in order to verify your site.
Step 2: Paste that same meta html tag on to your head section of your homepage.
Step 3: Save your changes.
Step 4: Come back to Search Console and Click on “Verify Button”.
2.Domain Name Provider
Step 1: Sign into your domain name provider.
Step 2: Select the domain name provider from the dropdown list.
Step 3: Follow some further instructions and then click on “Verify Button”.
Step 1: Choose the Google analytics option.
Step 2:Click on “Verify Button”.
It works instantly only when you already have setup Google Analytics for your website and you have “administrator” permission.
4.Google Tag Manager
Step 1: Sign in to your Google tag manager account.
Step 2: Click on the verify Button.
You should have “manage” permissions in order to verify your site.
How to Use Google Search Console
When you open the Google Search Console it will show you the Google search console Dashboard where you can see informations like New and important,Current status(Crawl errors, Search analytics,Sitemaps).
Google will send the alerts to website owners based on the problems associated with the website.
- Increase in not found errors
Google will notify us whenever there is an increase in number of web pages not found on your website (404 not found errors).
- Stop redirecting Smartphone users to the homepage.
Google is giving more attention towards mobile friendly search results .Google will also check the code or plugins you use that are redirecting internal links to your homepage.
- Google bot can’t access your site
Google will check whether your website is live and also alerts you when there are any DNS issues with your hosting service provider.
If Google detects the presence of hacked code or malware on your website, they will notify you via Google Search Console messages. It’s your duty to fix that malware issues with your website as quickly as possible. In the meanwhile, Google will warn visitors in Google Chrome and Google search that your site has been hacked.
- Manual actions
If Google detects the presence of unnatural links to or from your site, thin content, hidden text, keyword stuffing, pure spam, cloaking, sneaky redirects, spammy freehosts and spammy structured markup.
When Google determines that your website has violated webmaster guidelines, you may receive a message in Google Search Console concerning a manual action.
- Reconsideration requests
When you submit reconsideration requests to remove manual actions from your website, you will receive Google’s response in your Google Search Console message inbox.Most messages will either include instructions on how to solve the problem or links to pages where you can learn more about the problem.
As the name suggests, the Search Appearance section of search console tells you how your website appears in the search results. You can identify and change how you want your website to look on Google search results. Its appearance is influenced by several factors and can certainly have an influence on the click-through rate.
Structured data helps Google to understand the content of your site by gathering all the Structured Data that was found, which can be used to display rich snippets in search results. The graph shows you the number of Structured Data elements and markup errors. Download the report to fix any problems.
How to fix the Structured Data elements and markup errors
Step 1: Identify pages with errors.
Step 2: Put those errors in the testing tool Structured Data Testing Tool
Step 3: Use the suggestions to solve any issues.
Using Data Highlighter, you can improve your websites look in Google search by highlighting certain data to make it stand out towards your audience. If you don’t have access to the backend then you can use Data Highlighter to use Structured Data.
This point-and-click tool is one of the easiest ways to implement Structured Data.
- Start with the URL of a typical page on your website,
- Select the type of information and start highlighting.
- When you highlight an element, use the context menu to select a tag.
If you make an error while editing you have an option to hit the clear tag button. All the highlighted information can be found in the right sidebar.
Information which is hidden on the page can be entered manually. Use the gear icon and select add missing tags.
The HTML Improvements page collects all the errors related to titles, Meta descriptions and non- index able content. Search console will tell you what needs to be fixed
The errors might be like
- Short meta descriptions
- Duplicate meta descriptions
- Long meta descriptions
- Missing title tags
- Duplicate title tags
- Short title tags
- Long title tags
- Non-informative title tags
- Non-index able content
Sitelinks will help users to navigate a website. Most of the time google will show you up with shortcuts to deeper pages which might be relevant to the user.
In order to make google to select right sitelinks by itself, you should optimize the information present on the link to be very informative and useful for the users.
If you think that a sitelink is inappropriate or incorrect, you can demote it. Select a page and enter the URL that should be removed.
In this section, you can get the information related to your website like-
- Where your website visitors are actually coming from,
- Which domains are linking to your website
- What your internal link structure looks like
Search Analytics proved to be one of the best popular reports in Google Search Console.Search Analytics was formerly known as Search Queries.It shows you insights into the organic traffic from Google.
There are many filters which will help you to understand your website’s performance in Google’s search results.You can see Clicks,Impressions,CTR and Position of your website and can also target these with queries,pages, countries, devices, search type and dates.
Links to your Site
There are many websites out there which are used to analyse link popularity of your website,such as OpenSiteExplorer, ahrefs and MajesticSEO. In order to use these tools, we have to pay some monthly charges to get access to all their features.
Google Search Console is a best and free alternative for these kind of works.Using this Google Search console link-report you can get the report of anchor text ,linking domains and most-linked to pages.
You can easily download the complete table through the more button.
Both external and internal links are very inportant in improving your website page rank .Benefits of internal links are Proper navigation,Providing relevant data to readers and search engine bots,Pass the link juice to other pages and Help decrease the bounce rates.
The internal links report of Search Console will help you to can identify the pages that receive the most internal links.
As you all know that web is an ever changing system and sometimes the results keep changing from good results to bad results and vice versa.If you think that your site is not performing well enough as it once did in past and if you see that your site isn’t appearing in search results.
At that time, it is better to check the Manual actions Report and take necessary actions.Once you are satisfied with your website which follows all Webmaster Guidelines then you can request for a review of your site directly from the Manual Actions report i.e., Reconsideration request.
Here you’ll find all the information related to any Google penalties which are currently in effect. You will see the message here only when your site got penalized by google otherwise, this section will be blank.
You will be penalized by google for some of the reasons mentioned below.
- Thin content with little or no added value.
- Unwanted or unnatural links to your site.
- You website got Hacked by someone.
- Bad tactics of redirects
If you want to reach audience in a specific country who speaks a specific language, then you want to make sure that the search results are relevant to the language and country version of your pages.
There are mainly two general mechanisms:
- URL-level targeting
- Site-wide targeting
In URL-level targeting, there are three implementation mechanisms
- Page-level markup
- HTTP headers
Once you have configured all sites and pages for multi-regional or multi-language you can use these two section for targeting.
- The Language section—Google uses hreflang tags to match the user’s language preference to the right variation of your pages.
- The Country section—you can use this tool to set a site-wide country target for your entire site.This is available only for generic domain extensions, such as .com, .net and .org.
Nowadays, everyone likes to use Smartphone in day to day life .So there is an increase in number of users day by day .Recently google also announced that mobile friendly design will be used as a ranking signal.
If the page is empty without showing an error,then your website is optimized for mobile users.If there are Errors then that are listed along with an overview of all the pages that are affected.
You can also use the Mobile-Friendly Test to check if a page has a mobile-friendly design.
In order to include your site contents in the google search results,first they need to be included in the Google Index. Ex: Google index is same as index in a library, which shows the information in the list about all the books in the library.
Whenever Google visits your site, if it detects new and updated pages then it will carry that information and updates the Google index.Under this section, you can see how many pages have been added to Google’s index of your site and remove unwanted URLs.
The Index Status shows the total number of pages that are indexed.
This report shows you with the most frequently used keywords of your website.
On this page you’ll find all pages that are blocked by robots.txt rules.
The robots.txt file can be used to prevent pages from being added to Google’s index. Use robots.txt to specify how search engines should crawl your site, or request removal of URLs from Google’s search results.
You can use Remove URLs feature of Search Console to remove single url’s and also to remove entire directories both works the same way.This tool can be used by only site owners and also users with full permissions can request removals.
Your site needs to be crawled before your pages can be indexed.All the information related to the Crawling process can be found in this section.
Crawl errors are very crucial we need to fix those asap.Otherwise Google can’t index your site properly in SERP and regularly we should check these Crawl Errors report.
It displays all the errors Googlebot encounters while crawling your website pages.Response codes (404, 403, etc.) can be subdivided by device; feature phone,mobile or desktop.
- Googlebot activity in the last 90 days.
This page shows the number of pages that haven been crawled over the last 90 days.
- Kilobytes downloaded per day.
- Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds).
How to improve performance of your site ?
We need to increase pages crawled per day and also we need to make sure that the time spent downloading decreases.
Fetch as Google
“Fetch as Google” is a diagnostic tool that allows you to simulate how Google renders a certain page.
What’s the difference between “fetch” and “fetch and render”?
A fetch is a simple operation that is used to check the response code.
This feature will help us to find the differences between browser rendering and the way Google sees a page.
As name suggest,this tool is used to test new robots.txt markup and check for errors. All types of Google-crawlers (Googlebot, Mobile, Mediapartners News, Images, Video and Adbot) are available.
If in case you don’t have robots.txt,then google will assume that there is no restrictions in your site and crawl all over your site.
First, Create Sitemap, then upload it to your server and notify Google of the location of this Sitemap via Google Search Console.
How to add Sitemap in Google Search Console ?
- Use the button in the top right corner to add or edit a Sitemap .
- Enter the URL.
- You can see the difference between the number of submitted and indexed pages.
Sitemap errors can also be found on this section.
Sometimes Google will not be able to understand URL Parameters and may require your help in understanding certain URL Parameters.
Add a parameter and indicate if it changes the page content seen by the user.
For a tracking parameter, you can select No.
For parameters that reorder products, you can select Yes.
Use this tool only when it is necessary.If Googlebot doesn’t have problems with the coverage of your site then you don’t have to configure URL parameters. Incorrectly configuring parameters may also results in pages being dropped from indexing.
Read More about URL Parameters here
How to use URL Parameters in Google Search Console