The Google Webmaster Tools Tutorial
Google Webmaster Central is considered a key organizer for your website to help analyze how Google is viewing your website. It also allows the person managing this profile to help steer Google in the right direction on many other items. Apart from just submitting your website to Google webmaster, you can actually find missing links, remove unnecessary links, submit your sitemap, find keywords that are being accessed frequently, find bad links, and back links to your website . Let us now look at some features available on Google webmaster central.
This blog is being provided to help the novice understand what Google Webmaster Central is all about and why it can be so helpful.
All About Google Webmaster Central
The URL Removal Tool
What is it? It’s a request to Google asking them to have a URL removed.
How do I get there?
Log into your webmaster area with your Google account. Choose the URL https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals
You then have 3 choices for which you can take action.
- Information or image that appears in Google search results.
- Information and images in search results are located on a third-party, publicly available webpages. In order to remove information from the search results and from the web, you should first contact the owner or webmaster of the third-party site.
- Once the site owner has either modified the content of the page, removed the page from the web, or blocked it from being indexed, select one of the options below to request that the content be removed from the search results.
· The site owner has modified this page so that it no longer contains the information or image that concerns me.
· The site owner has removed this page/image or blocked it from being indexed by using robots.txt or meta tags.
The URL should then be given in either case. In the first case where the site owner has modified the page, the terms of what has been modified should be mentioned.
Outdated or "dead" link in the Google search results
After choosing this option you can submit the url which is “dead” or "outdated". The link given can be of a web page or image link.
Inappropriate webpage or image that appears in our SafeSearch filtered results
Here you can submit the URL that you found with inappropriate web content or imagery. You may also state how you found the URL and the terms entered in the URL.
Change of Domain Address
If you’re planning to move your site to a new domain, this can be done through Google webmaster tools change of address tool where you list the details of the new URL. This will help get the site indexed faster and will help smoothen the website transition of users. For best results, follow these steps:
1. Set up the new site
Set up your content on your new domain, then make sure all internal links point to the new domain
2. Redirect all traffic from the old site
Use a 301 redirect to permanently redirect the pages on your old site to the new site. This tells users and search engines that your site has permanently moved. You can now ask webmasters to update their links to point to your new domain and make sure incoming links to your old site are redirected correctly using the 301 redirects.
3. Add your new site to Webmaster Tools
Make sure you have added and verified you new domain.
4. Tell Google the URL of your new domain
Provide the URL name in the space provided and then click on the submit button. After submitting the change of address, check your webmasters tools data periodically to see if your new site has been crawled and indexed.
The Sitemap Tool
Once we are completed with all ON page SEO work we must build an xml sitemap. Why do we need a sitemap? It is an indicator to Google stating that we are a valid website user and that we have submitted it for Google bots to crawl on our website for indexing.
The sitemap option is available under the site configuration tab.
Here you can see the sitemap is already placed and verified. To verify the sitemap, it has to be generated in xml and uploaded to the server. Google Webmaster Tools can then see it and verify!
The ‘Crawl Errors’ Section
The Crawl errors page provides details about the URL’s in your site that Google tried to crawl but could not access. The Mobile crawl errors page provides details about problems Google encountered crawling URLs on your mobile website.
To view crawl errors:
1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
2. Under Diagnostics, click Crawl errors.
In addition to listing any URLs that Google had difficulty crawling, Google lists the type of problem and, where possible, lists the page or pages which they found the error.
Possible errors can be:
1. Not Found
2. URLs Not Followed
3. URLs Restricted by robots.txt
4. URLs Timed Out
5. HTTP Errors
6. URL Unreachable
The ‘Backlinks’ Section
These are the other websites on the internet that Google is acknowledging as linked to your website. You can find them in the ‘Links to your site’ section. Once clicking the links you will be taken to the website page where you can find a link of your website.
Your Site On The Web
Another very interesting feature for Google Webmasters is the “Your site on the web” component. Here you will find links that give information about the top searched queries, links to your website, keywords used, internal links, and subscriber statistics. Let us have a look at some of the features here.
1. Top searched queries on your website
As you can see the top searched keywords and their impressions will be given to you. The CTR rate also is given which gives you an idea of how well the keyword is doing.
2. Links to the website
Here you will get links (External) to your website that have linked to your website. It shows you the number of links to each page from other websites in descending order of links.
Here you will find the list of most to least significant keywords. The first one being the most significant keyword associated to your website. This also gives you insight to the most significantly used keywords.
4. Internal links
Here is a list of hyperlinks linked to your pages within the website. This helps you determine the most linked to pages and the least linked pages. It also helps you decide which pages should have more links to help improve rankings. After clicking the internal links area you get a list of all the links that linked to the page.
5. Subscriber Statistics
Often we need feeds to publish our updates which offers useful information that site owners can use. You can find the subscriber feed link here along with the number of subscribers that have subscribed to your feed(s). Subscribers can subscribe using any Google product (such as Feedburner, Reader, iGoogle, or Orkut)
So there you have it. A helpful little reference article explaining he finer details of Google Webmaster Tools. If you want to find out deeper level information about your own website give it a try. At TechWyse we use it every single day!