Today, we’re going to talk about Google Webmaster Tools, now called the Google Search Console. This tool, which has been around for almost 10 years, is a free service of Google which allows as webmaster, SEO expert, community manager to obtain interesting information on its site, in order to improve the quality of its referencing .

We will explain through different points how to take the tool in hand and then see the main features it offers.

I – Sign up for Google Search Console

1 – Connect your site

The first step is to connect your site or blog to Google Search Console tools. All you need to do is add your site by entering the URL you want to manage.

2 – Validate your site

The second step is to validate your site. There are several validation methods to prove to Google that you are the owner.

The simplest and recommended method by Google is to import an HTML validation file.

Just download this HTML file and upload it to your domain’s web server.

Search-console-validation-Site

Find other methods of validating a site on this page.

3 – Fill in the sitemap

The last thing you need to do is fill in your sitemap.xml. It allows to indicate the pages of the website which must be explored by Google’s robots. Directions are thus given to the search engine pages present in your entire site.

Search-console-sitemaps

II – The main features of Google Search Console

Once your site has been connected, you will be able to take the tool in hand. The latter offers you first of all a dashboard which gives you indications on the current state of your site in summary form:

Search-console-table-board

You then go through different sections enter the details of the web pages of your site.

1 – Analyze search performance

The Search Traffic feature provides information about the most common queries in Google Search. You are thus informed about the traffic and the keywords used to find your site.

The “Pages” option, for example, allows you to see the most popular pages on the site and which content gets the most clicks and impressions.

search-console-Analysis-Research

You will also be able to analyze all your backlinks and discover those of bad qualities. You can contact other sites and ask them to delete a link.

Note that you can disavow a link. That is to tell Google that the link is of poor quality and that it should not count in SEO. To do this, simply go to

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?hl=en

2 – Check indexing of pages

The “Indexing Status” feature helps you understand how Google bot behaves on a site. It indicates the number of URLs that the robot was able to crawl and index, but also those that are blocked by the robot.txt file and the number of pages that are not indexed.

Indexing-gsc

The state of indexing is very important for SEO of your site. If it is not read by the robot search engines you will have more trouble to position yourself well.

3 – Deal with exploration errors

Google’s robots explore your site to index web pages. However, they may encounter errors in the site or URLs that will slow down their passage (the crawl). These errors directly impact your SEO.

The “Exploration” tool allows you to discover these errors.

In the “Crawl Errors” tab, discover the pages of your site that point to a 404 error (page not found). The tab “Explore as Google” meanwhile tells you the URLs that have not been indexed. Finally, the section “Tools for testing the file robotx.txt” provides information on the urls you have blocked.

Google-search-console errors

This tool is therefore useful for redirecting and working on the structure of your site.
Google Search Console, an indispensable tool

Also Read – How to submit sitemap to Google

As you have seen, Google offers through Search Console a battery of tools that can collect a lot of essential information to SEO optimization. Google Search Console is the first way to understand how your site is perceived by robots and therefore to ensure you optimize SEO. This is why it is essential to integrate it into the tools that you will use every day as part of your optimization campaigns.