What is Google Search Console and what is it for?
Google Search Console is a free service and analytics tool from Google. Using the Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tool), numerous settings for websites or applications can be made, statistics can be viewed, and optimization actions can be implemented. In addition, it warns of the presence of unnatural backlinks or malware, which has been installed on the web. Google Search Console data is not fully public, unlike Alexa data. Google Search Console metrics can be linked to Google Analytics to improve data.
It is very important to Google that websites are solidly programmed and that the number of errors is kept within limits. This intention is not only altruistic. On the one hand, the Mountain View company wants to make sure that its search results display the highest possible quality targets and, on the other hand, website optimization is of course important in order to maintain a high level of quality of the search results. Landing pages for advertising through Google Ads or Google AdSense publisher websites. At the same time, it can be assumed that Google receives additional information about the design and relevant data of the website through data management with the Webmaster Tools.
To use the Google Search Console, you must first register the page in question. A valid Google account is required. After registration, the owner must verify the page. There are four different recommended methods for doing this. Alternatively, the web page can also be verified through a valid Analytics account, through the provider’s domain name, an HTML tag , or the Google Tag Manager. After the verification is complete, the tool displays the relevant data of that web page and its common features can be used.
The Google Search Console contains many functions that can be used for the analysis and optimization of a website. These functions are briefly described below:
- Storing an XML sitemap: All URLs on a website can be transmitted to Google via the XML sitemap. Although this does not guarantee future indexing, there is a chance that even hard-to-access page elements will still be crawled. In addition, you can also set up a sitemap with separate images or a video sitemap. The tool analyzes each map after loading for errors.
- robots. If a robot is stored. txt, it can be parsed with the Google Console. New instructions for the bot can also be tested there.
- Site settings: You can select your preferred country, as well as information about the desired default domain format (with or without www) and set the crawl speed (up to two server requests per second). If you don’t know the performance of your server, you should let Google do the configuration automatically.
- Backlink Disavow : One of the most discussed tools on the SEO scene in recent years is the GWT disable tool. Inbound links can be declared invalid if a webmaster feels that these links are more harmful than beneficial. Many SEOs believe that Google uses the data from this tool to discover link networks. The tool can be found here
- Ignore URL Parameters: SEOs and webmasters can use GWT to override individual URL parameters. You can determine if the parameter influences the content or if it is, for example, a tracking parameter like “utm”.
- URL Removal from Index – An important feature of Google Webmaster Tools is the temporary removal of URLs from the Google index. This is useful when individual subpages are unintentionally listed in the index. This function is not a substitute for exclusive indexing via tags like noindex .
- Data highlighter: This feature allows you to mark relevant positions on a web page so that Google can identify structured information, such as business hours and prices.
Retrieved as by Googlebot : With this feature you can view a website like a spider and discover syntax errors. It is also possible to render the page completely.
- Submit URLs to Google Index: Once a website has been retrieved with “Retrieved from Google”, it can be submitted directly to Google’s index and the URLs associated with it. You can index multiple URLs at once.
- Structured data check: When a website uses microformats or other structured data, you can verify that a website is tagged using the Google Console.
- Rich Cards Check: If a website uses Rich Cards, these can be checked with the GSC.
- Check AMP pages: If a web page has been implemented as AMP, the implementation can be controlled with the Google Search Console.
- Check mobile device compatibility: The GSC indicates whether the URLs are suitable for mobile devices.
In addition to the “active” features, the Google Console provides an extensive database of statistics.
- Dashboard – Webmasters can get an overview of DNS status, crawl errors, search queries, robots.txt file validity, and URL and sitemap errors.
- Searches – Like Google Analytics, the console also provides an overview of searches, CTRs and clicks, and rankings for individual keywords . These statistics can be downloaded or limited to a specific period. However, this data will only be displayed on the console for 16 months.
- Inbound Links – The console provides users with an overview of the inbound links that Google has logged. Unlike paid backlink tools, GWT doesn’t crawl as deep and the list of backlinks is usually shorter.
- Internal Links – Google gives a useful overview and shows how many internal links exist from specific subpages. This is an important aspect of on page optimization .
- Indexing Status : Shows how a web page was indexed. This metric is very useful to find possible penalties. The Search Console also shows how many pages of a website have been indexed and which pages have been removed.
- HTML Enhancements – Google offers possible optimization potential for meta descriptions and titles with this feature.
- Crawl Error : Search Console informs users about 404 or Soft 404 errors, both in the desktop version and in the mobile version.