What is Google Webmaster Tools?
Google webmaster tools is a fantastic and free resource where website owner can manage and control their websites. This tool provide access to a lot of data which is not easily available otherwise so this will help you to find errors which are causing to decrease your ranking. Basically it gives you information that google bot find while crawling your website such as crawling errors, duplicate contents warnings, popular search queries, and where you getting your links. In simple words Google webmaster tools gives you complete picture about your website and also guide you that what you have to do to improve your website ranking from every aspect.
Webmaster tools has great significance for search engine optimization. SEO related complete information is available in this tool. It tells us that how our website is showing in search appearances. Google bot is crawling our pages or not, how many pages are indexed and where the traffic is coming to our website. Now lets dive in to the google webmaster tools.
How can use Google Webmaster Tools for better SEO
What we will do in this article, we will discuss about this tool and will tell you how we can use these features in SEO to better optimize you website. Before looking at dashboard first thing you will do to verify ownership with that website. This is the simple process where you can upload a file on your server or add meta tag on your website html. Your website data is highly confidential and only be visible in webmaster tools when you tells google that you are the owner of this site. One important thing you must follow while verifying ownership to enable email notification. This means that if there is an error or any important message which you can missed will be send to you by an email and you don’t need to login manually and this will help you take immediately action against the problem. Very first we will look at the dashboard. All of you knows the very famous phrase “picture is worth a thousand words“. It means that dashboard shows your website data in graphical representation with the help of three sections on the basis of real statistics. These sections show facts and figures that whats going on with your website. Now look at dashboard you can see crawl errors, search queries and sitemap information and later we will discuss these in details.
Webmaster Tools Dashboard
If we go the the messages section, we can find warnings, errors and if someone hacked your site that all type of stuff will be shown here.
The next feature is preferred domain. By default this is set to don’t set preferred domain. You either have www or no- www domains. I will highly recommend you to must set one of them. This will avoid duplicate content problem. because google is treated your domains and sub domains to different websites and if you have two versions of your website one is www and other is with no-www. now google understand that your website contents are duplicated. so this issue will be prevented by setting up preferred domain.
Search appearance section tells us that how our website is appearing in search results. The most important part of this section is structured data. This section is recently added by google to help owners to find out their website structure that how many items are in the pages and which types of items they are. In simple words structured data provides information about the page contents including text, images and videos. It also helps google to understand your website contents and his structure in better way. you can find complete reference about structured data on schema.org. In highlighter section highlights your data on website and you can highlight any information on page. You can organized your contents in elegant way and your data looks very prominent as google always like organized contents. Html improvements section tells us about the website meta information like duplication in title, description. Is there any SEO related data have errors or missing. These all options are very important in SEO. And lastly site links are the pages which are related to your website and that will shown with by google when your site comes in search results. You can remove less important links from this section.
Now lets look at search traffic section. This is incredibly useful feature for SEO experts and showing us the report against those keywords where our website gets impressions and clicks. It also show click rate, down or upward of keyword position. It actually gives us an idea which keyword is going up or which one is down. Next feature is links to your site section. It will tells you how many links of you website is on other websites and it will also shown the most linked contents of your website to external sites. These are actually back links and being an SEO expert this information is very valuable for you.
Internal links are those links which are actually your website URLs that are displayed in this section. And manual action section tells about illegal offense if there e.g, if your website is penalize by google then the messages will shown up here in this section.
In international targeting section there is a point which is very important in search engine optimization is to select your target country which means you tells google that my website should come up in searches related to this country. This is good for SEO if your business is in some specific country. But your website is never come on searches coming from other countries. So check this option only when you want to target specific country search traffic and leave as it is if you want your website in global search. Otherwise you will remove yourself from other geographical regions search results.
Mobile usability section tells that how our website looks in mobile and smart devices. Now a days mobile usage is incredibly increasing google pays great attention about your website on mobility. If your website looks good on mobile this will also helps you improve your ranking.
Index section showing us that how many pages of our website is indexed by google. In content keywords your keywords are showing according to significance. Actually this is telling you what keyword google is thinking is relevant for you. It will help you to find out less relevance keywords and then you can modify your contents to replace with relevant words.
Block resources section is showing pages which are blocked and therefore will not index by google bot. Now lets talk about the most important section which is remove URLs section. There are many reasons when you remove or delete your website pages. It is highly recommend you to remove urls manually. If you will not do this and if Google indexed them at least one time before deletion then when google try to crawl them again probably unable to found them and through error page not found message.
Now looking at the most important section in webmaster tools is crawl section. You can find server errors, soft errors and not found errors in crawl error section. This will help you to identify the error areas of your website which you can take immediate action to improve you website. Crawl stats section tells you how google bot pages crawled your pages in time frames like Pages crawled per day, Kilobytes downloaded per day and Time spent downloading a page (in milliseconds).
Google takes time to crawl your website but if want google to crawl your URL immediately then fetch as google is a great feature to help you. By entering URL you tells the google to crawl this page.
Next robots.text file which is also the most important file and is used to communicate you website with google crawlers. It can provide the latest version, time and date when last time google crawl that file. In this file enable or disable different sections or URLs of our website and tells the google which URL needs to crawl or which is not. We must add robots.text file on our server. we can can also submit it to google and also we can test that file.
The next section is sitemap and this is the most important section of webmaster tools. It shows google that how many links, text, images or videos we have in our website and provide a road map in very organized manner so it will help google to easily find URLs. This section gives us information about how many urls are submitted and which ones are indexed by google. This will gives you clear picture about web pages or if some pages are not indexed yet then you can go to find errors on pages, this may be due to 404 errors so lets them fix. You can also add/test sitemap.xml file from webmaster. If you have not generated sitemap.xml then you can also upload provided file to your server and then must be submitted to google for approval for your sitemaps. If you are using CMS then there are many plugins available like google sitemaps its easy by sitemap generator to create sitemap. This is actually xml sitemap file which is automatically created on server when you activate that plugin in CMS.
Finally we are recapping this article, we have discussed Google webmaster tools and its core feathers and its importance in SEO. And we have also found that how we can efficiently use this tool to better optimize our websites.