The Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a helpful service provided by Google that allows you to monitor your site’s health and position in search results through key tools and resources. In our experience, many business owners and marketers don’t realize how valuable this website monitoring platform can be.
Let’s take a look at why the service is important to how Google views your website, and why it can help you to boost your online presence. Here are 5 things to know about the Google Search Console:
1. You Can Get Preemptive Spam/Malware Warnings and Notifications
A key feature of the console is that it allows you to set up notifications that warn you about any security issues which may be targeting your website. A few examples of security issues include spam, malware, and phishing.
In some cases, you won’t get any warning that your website has problems until it’s too late. See below for a screenshot of a malware issue:
These issues can drive down your Google rankings and flag users to not use your site. By initiating a security issues report for your site, you can see whether downloadable files on your site are considered hazardous to your site users.
2. Keyword Impressions and Rankings
Google allows you to track the impressions and rankings of different keywords to supplement your SEO reporting efforts.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the search analytics screen:
As you can see, you can review different metrics, which include impression information.
3. Learn About and Remedy Your Site Errors
Site errors are issues that Google has identified with your website around pages or PDFs. They are often pages or PDFs that once existed but have since been deleted, and have not been properly rectified with Google.
Google looks at site errors as an indication of your website health. A high number of website errors can hurt your website performance in search engines.
Within this section, you can see what pages or items that Google has identified as errors and remedy them. A typical error is a page that produces a “not found” or 404 error message.
4. Set International Targeting for Your Website
With this tool, you are able to tell Google more information about your website and the area it’s targeting.
This comes in handy when you have a website that targets a specific country. You can set the preferences in the Search Console to specifically target that country.
5. How to Install
The simplest and the most accurate way to track and record your web results using the Google Search Console is by downloading the HTML file and adding it to your site.
Other methods include adding a Google metatag, signing in with your domain name provider, using your Google Analytics account, or using your Google Tag Manager account.