I call it the Google checker.
Officially called “Google Webmasters”, also referred to as “Google Webmasters Tool” or even “Google Webmaster Central”.
Whatever you call it, Google checker is an essential webmasters tool that also serves as a search engine optimizer. For the most important amongst all search engines: Google.
If you’re not familiar with Google checker, you absolutely have to use this online application to drastically improve your website.
Here are the basics of this wonderful webmasters tool.
Photo Credit: EvinDC
If you already have a Google account or use Gmail you just need to sign in and go to webmasters.google.com. Otherwise you have to register there first.
Then you can add your website(s) to the dashboard for inclusion.
Each added website needs to be authenticated (which is just to prevent identity theft, etc). You can do this by either inserting a line of code into your home page HTML or by uploading a unique file (generated by Google checker; just copy and paste) onto your website (using FTP). Either way is quick and easy.
Next, uploading an XML sitemap of your website to the Google checker is an outstanding idea. If you don’t know how to do this, use Google again to search for ‘google xml sitemap creation’. There are plenty of sites that can create such maps.
After you’re done, upload the map to your site as a page, but with an extension .xml instead of .html. Submit that URL to the Google checker.
Google thus knows the location of your web pages which helps indexing them.
Now that you’re doing this anyway, take some time to also create an HTML sitemap as well (again, use Google to find such a service), upload it as a (normal HTML) page and link to it from your homepage. This helps the other search engines, that don’t use the XML format, index your pages.
After you’ve done this, Google needs some time (give them two weeks, but you can check frequently) to crawl your website and gather data about it.
When that’s done, you’ll have tons of information from the most important search engine at your fingertips!
Some of the more important figures that you can find in the Google checker:
It’s very important to use the right settings for your site. You can manage a lot in here and it’s wise to spend some time figuring out how you want your site to be indexed.
This area of the dashboard reveals some of your main keywords for which Google is displaying your website to searchers. Ideally, you want to ensure that the keywords that you originally chose for your website feature in this list. If not, back to the SEO grindstone…
Crawl errors won’t do your site any good for search engine optimization, so you better make sure to clear this area up as soon as possible. If there are any crawl errors on your site, find out where they are, and adjust those links. If they’re coming from other sites, use 301 redirects.
Links to Your Site
This section contains an overview of internal and external links that Google has detected. Coming from Google itself, this is important information. Despite the fact, that it sometimes seems fairly inconsistent, Google usually seems to update these figures at least once a month. Your goal should be to try to grow this figure every month.
At the left side navigation bar, Google checker lists lots of other options, including diagnostics and crawl stats. Take some time to learn what these statistic mean.
There’s no better way to view your site than through the eyes of Google webmasters tool!
So, do you use this Google checker?
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