Google Webmaster Tools
Google has another amazing suite to its already very useful collection of tools – The Google webmaster tools. The Google webmaster tools now called as Google Search Console is a free web-service offered for Google for webmasters.
What is Google Webmaster tools (Google Search console)
Typically a webmaster is a website administrator who is responsible for the maintenance of the website(s). He or she is responsible for the designing and effective functioning of the website. This includes taking care of the hardware components, web servers, and other software resources as well as monitoring the traffic to the site and responding to user comment (if the feature is made available). Google Webmaster is a tool that helps you to do all these and even more. We tried it and found it to be quite handy. So, we bring you ten reasons why you should start using Google webmaster tools:
1. Check a site map
The Google Webmaster tool set enables you to check a site by submitting it to Google. To test a sitemap, log on to Google webmaster, click on the add/test sitemap button, and Google Webmaster Tools will inform you if the sitemap is valid or not. For those of you who think, sitemap is a new term – It is a list of pages of a website that can be accessed by the crawlers or users. A crawler, also known as Web Crawler is an internet bot that browses websites on the World Wide Web for the purpose of indexing. Checking the sitemap and correcting them would ensure that you get all the right traffic to your website.
2. Check statistics of the site
Once you have got your site verified by Google Webmaster which is done to ascertain if you are the rightful owner of the website, you can get to see many metrics pertaining to your website. If not immediately, you will soon be able to configure the metrics that you want to see so that Google can do the background work to ensure that the metrics that you are looking for are measured. This feature is not restricted to the website alone. The Google webmaster tools cover everything – Desktop website, Mobile app, and mobile website. You can combine three and monitor the overall impressions and clicks, as well as other metrics.
3. Edit the robots.txt file
The robots.txt file also known as robots exclusion protocol or robots exclusion standard is a file that communicates to the web crawler as of which web pages have to be scanned. If you need to either add or create exclusions, then those entries have to be added or removed from the robots.txt file. The Google Webmaster tool set enables you to edit this robots.txt file by giving you an interface.
4. List all pages that link to the site
The Google webmaster tool set gives you a comprehensive list of all the pages that link to your website. This includes the internal links on your website as well as the external ones, the links on other website or web pages that lead the user to your website. With this information, you can have an assessment of the sources of organic traffic or otherwise to your website.
5. Find out keywords that returned hits and URL links
Google webmaster tools has an informative dashboard that gives you a rough overview of details like what keywords you are ranking for and how much traffic your website is getting. You will be able to see if the Google crawler bot is facing any crawl errors when scanning through your website, the number of web sites linked to yours and how many pages from your website that Google has indexed.
6. Setting a preferred domain name
For the web crawler to effectively index your website, it is important that you decide on the domain name, if it is going to be just a http:// or a http://www. This is crucial in indexing web site and hence in search listings. Google webmaster tools help you choose a preferred domain name.
7. Track Google search elements
To run a successful marketing campaign it is imperative that you don’t just bank on the keywords that have high search volume, but also ensure that you have an acceptable click through rate. Besides these, there are a score of other metrics that can give you insights on how well your campaign is performing. Google webmaster tools help you do that easily.
8. Demote certain Sitelinks
Sitelinks are links to a web site’s interior pages displayed on a Google search results page. As your website grows in popularity Google will naturally get you these. Usually, Google generates these links automatically. However, with Google Webmaster tools you can remove Sitelinks that you don’t want to be shown. This process is demoting as it doesn’t give you full control over which pages show up, but you can block pages that you don’t want to appear while you can’t pick which pages you would want to appear.
9. Access to Labs
Every now and then Google Webmaster comes up with new features and these are put to test regularly. You can navigate to the “Labs” section to get to see a list of newly added features that are being tested and try them if required.
10. Fix a hacked website
Even as you read this, there are thousands of websites being hacked by cyber criminals compromising the content of the website and in worse cases even the backend databases. A more malicious attack would be altering the code on your webpage so that the keystrokes of the users can be tracked and transmitted to them. This can come as a rude shock to many new age Webmasters. The Google Webmaster tool set has the perfect foil for this in its Recovery solution.
Undoubtedly, the Google webmaster tools equip a webmaster or site owner with features that you can never ignore. With the tool available for free, it is worth a try!