Five Functions to Use in Google Search Console
by Nimesh Dinubhai of Websrefresh
Google updated its webmaster tools formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console. This rebranding happened in May 2015 after the company felt the name webmaster was outdated. It offers a number of resources that you can use to tune your site's SEO functions as well as get important information regarding those who visit it and their activities while don't the site. Generally, the Google Search Console allows you to gain varied insights on your website.
To access the search console functions you will need to verify the ownership of you intend to analyze. There are five ways of verifying domain name ownership and these are:
Using Google analytics
Use Google tag manager account
Upload a HTML file
Sign in to domain name provider
Add a HTML tag to the head of your site
Once you are done with the verification process, here are a number of functions you should use from the console.
1. Search Appearance
This is a tool that allows you to see how your website looks like on search results. This is important because you get to have a preview and know when you need to make any changes since the appearance and factors behind it can influence the click through rate. This section avails you the various options you have to correct or optimize factors like structured data, site links, and HTML improvement.
2. Search Traffic
This is an important section that allows you to know the structure of your internal links, the domains which link to your site and analyzes the nature of your traffic. Through search analytics found here you get to know the popular queries, pages and devices. You get an extensive report regarding the click through rate on mobile vs desktop, the average ranking of different pages and other crucial information.
This section gives you the feedback and data on various aspects Google found while crawling your site. It includes errors, issues on sitemaps, URL parameters and other performance based reports about your site.
4. Index status
This is the section which tells you if the site is indexed on Google and if so how many pages from your site are listed. You get to know which pages have been blocked over robot.txt rules, which content keywords are being used and if new pages are being indexed.
In this section you get a varied number of notifications from Google. The most crucial reports include any hacking incidents, new trends and if you have received any manual penalty.