Google Search Console is a no-cost service provided by Google that helps you keep track of how and where your website shows up in the Google Search Results. Google Search Console was originally known as Google Webmasters Tools until 2015 when a major overhaul was made to the tool.
And finally, in 2018 we received a more refined version of the Google Search Console with further improvements and added changes to the interface. It’s among the best free website SEO tools that you can get today.
So why do you need to have Google Search Console for your business? First of all, it is free, and Secondly, it is the way that Google knows how to read your website in its search which is a really important piece that a lot of web developers don’t pass on to their clients.
As a business owner, you can get it set up for your business in no time as it takes a very small amount of time to do so. It is very easy to link up with your existing Gmail, Google Apps for work and G suite account which allows you to basically monitor all of your web properties for search.
Google Search Console is also the place where you can change your international targeting, for ex. If you are an India based website and use (dot)com instead of (dot)in for your website, for you to show up on the local search, you have to make the changes in the Search Console.
Also, Google Search will tell you every single website on the internet that it’s crawled that has a link back to your website, it will also give you important information on keywords like what people are searching for when they do find your website in Google Search and so much more.
For this reaaon, its also among the best free SEO website tools out there for you today.
Google rolled out the revamped version of the Search Console in 2018, and here we discuss the new features.
Search Analytics has been the most popular and important features of the Google Search Console. It keeps us updated about the organic traffic coming from Google. The new Search Performance allows more in-depth data reports over search metrics like clicks, impressions, CTR’s, current and average ranking positions.
In comparison to the old console, there is a bit more flexibility of how you can build your segments and look at the different data points inside the analytics reports. The date range has also improved and you can look at backed-data of up to nearly 2 years.
Index coverage doesn’t just help you identify the total number of website pages currently indexed by Google but also helps identify page indexation errors. If you do encounter errors on page indexation, the Coverage Report offers tips to helps fix it.
The newer version allows you to show more information and also alerts you when there is an indexing error, which helps in getting to the root of the problem and solving it faster.
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP’s status report basically helps fix errors that don’t allow AMP pages from showing in the search results. Now with this feature, you help you monitor AMP performance and how your pages will be displayed and fix any errors that pop up.
If you have Job Posting rich results on your website, this report allows you to monitor Google’s ability to process these results. And you can also inform Google about any updates or fixes made.
Let’s also discuss few other features of the Google Search console.
Data Highlighter is a user-friendly option to highlight certain elements of your website. This feature helps webmasters to mark-up their landing page so Google can have a better understanding of your website’s data. You have the ability to simply use your mouse button to tag each data field and highlight certain elements of your landing page.
HTML Improvements allows you to address all the HTML issues on your websites like problems with the title, meta descriptions, and non-indexable content. Duplicate titles or missing metadata can impact search results negatively. This feature helps in finding out these issues, and you can go about fixing them depending on your ability, or you can get help to fix the issues highlighted by this tool.
Fetch as Google
Fetch as Google is a diagnostic tool that simulates crawling and rendering for a given URL. It is basically Google’s way of allowing website owners or webmasters to mimic the behavior of Googlebot. The features such as ‘fetch’ and ‘fetch and render’ gives you the ability to choose which devices you take a look at as far as rendering and fetching is concerned.
A robots.txt file is a text file that you can create using Microsoft Notepad. The directives from the robots.txt file can prevent crawler software like Googlebot from crawling certain pages and folders from your website. By using the robot.txt tester, you can let Google to get individual URL’s to see if they are being blocked for crawling.
If you are looking to do more with your website but are worried as to whether the results would be as you would expect, do not forget to take a look at the search console. It should be the first thing to look at whether it be for your SEO strategy or to ensure that everything is set up just the way it should be with your website.
All the best,
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