Google Search Console FAQ
Are you looking for better search engine rankings for your website? If yes, then you must read this article on Google Search Console FAQ.
after all, for a beginner in SEO, there may be several questions about how to use Google Search Console and why it is so useful.
If you’re new to SEO, then you may have heard about Google Webmaster Tool or Google Search Console.
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is the primary mechanism for Google to communicate with webmasters.
Google Webmaster Tools helps you to identify issues with your site and can even let you know if it has been infected with malware (not something you ever want to see, but if you haven’t spotted it yourself, or had one of your users tweet at you to let you know, it’s invaluable).
And the best part? It’s absolutely free. If you don’t have a GWT account, then you need to go get one now.
You can integrate Google Search Console with Google Analytics to get a clear picture about your entire site, giving you a sophisticated marketing analysis with real time data.
Let’s go through most important Google Search Console FAQ to understand more about Google Search Console.
What is Google search console?
Google Search Console is a free service that lets you learn a great deal of information about your website and the people who visit it.
You can use it to find out things like how many people are visiting your site and how they are finding it, whether more people are visiting your site on a mobile device or desktop computer, and which pages on your site are the most popular.
It can also help you find and fix website errors, submit a sitemap, and create and check a robots.txt file.
Is Google Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console different?
They are not.
They are same names for the single tool.
Google Webmaster Tools is what Google Search Console used to be called.
Google search console which was earlier known as Google webmaster tool (GWT) found its name in May 2015, when Google decided to rename the tool.
Since GWT was being used by bloggers, SEO’s, marketers, it made more sense to change it to Google search console.
The idea behind changing the name was to get more users.
Google found that the “webmaster” title wasn’t inclusive enough for all its users who range from novice weekender search fans to certified webmasters.
What are the key tasks performed by Google Search Console?
- See how your site is performing
- Identify which pages are attracting the most traffic
- Check if there are errors in your structured data
- Submit a sitemap to Google so it can crawl your site
- Learn what search queries people are using to reach your site
- Determine where your backlinks are coming from
- Manage spamming issues
- and many more
Why I must use Google Search Console?
- It tells you the most popular queries causing your website to appear in search results.
- It tells you which queries are driving the most traffic.
- You can see which websites are linking to yours.
- You can evaluate how well your mobile website is performing for people searching on tablets and phones.
- Keywords management
This is where you can see what keywords are performing and who is searching for what terms related to your industry.
- Make changes and index your site
If you’ve made major changes to a website, the fastest way to get the updates indexed by Google is to submit it in the Search Console so they appear in search results.
- Automated diagnostic notifications
Sometimes things break. Get automated notifications that something’s wrong with your site before any customers can have a poor experience.
- Improve your website’s appearance in search results
Google Search Console has various resources that can enhance the way your website appears in search. For one, you can use its Data Highlighter to create rich snippets.
- Detect security issues
Google alerts you if your website has been hacked or is spreading malware. It also provides solutions that webmasters can take to address the problem.
- Learn if your site is mobile-friendly
You might have optimized your website for mobile, but do you know if Google really considers it as mobile-ready? Fortunately, Search Console comes with the Mobile Usability module, which reveals the problems that may keep your site from being seen as mobile-friendly. Additionally, Search Console offers a free tool that tests your site’s responsiveness on a mobile device.
- Address broken links
The last thing you want on your website is a broken link. When a link directs users to a page that shows a 404 error, Google will perceive your site as no longer available. If not fixed promptly, it may remove your page from the search results. The error reports in Search Console will list down the broken links you have at any given time, so you can address them immediately.
- Improve your HTML
There are a lot of issues that can spell trouble for your site. It can be faulty coding, large images, and duplicate title tags. Google Search Console can provide you with HTML Improvement suggestions so you can keep your website in peak performance.
How to add and verify your website in Google Search Console?
- Go to Google Search Console.
Login or click ‘Start Now’, if needed. If you already have a Google account, you can login directly otherwise the first step is to create an account and then login.
- Click ‘Add a property’ under the search property drop-down.
You can add up to 1,000 properties to your account, including both websites and mobile apps.
- Enter your website URL in the box and click ‘Continue’.
Please make sure you enter your complete URL. For example, if your site is https://yourdomain.com/ it needs to be that exact URL. Don’t forget the / at the end of the URL. If your site uses WWW or is using HTTP you need to add properties for those as well. If you are not sure what your site has, please speak with your host provider.
- Verify ownership of your website.
The next step is to verify ownership of the website. There are 5 main ways to do this:HTML File verificationIf you choose this method, you need to download the given HTML file and upload it to the ROOT folder of your website. In most cases this is in the public_html folder.
Once uploaded, you can click the VERIFY button and continue to the next step.
If you choose to use this verification method then you need to copy the meta tag given by Google and add it to the <head> section of your website.
If you are using Yoast SEO plugin, you can add the verification code in the Google Verification Code box by selecting:
Yoast SEO > GENERAL > WEBMASTER TOOLS
The third method is the easiest and my recommended method.
If you already have Google Analytics installed on your website and you are using the same Google Account for both GA and GSC, then all you need to do is click the VERIFY button.
Google Tag Manager
Same as Google analytics. If you already have Google Tag Manager script install in your website’s head section, then you can auto-verify Google Search console.
Domain name provider
If you cannot use any of the above methods, then you can verify website ownership by editing your DNS settings. If you are a non-technical person, I wouldn’t recommend this method since you need to know how to edit your domain’s DNS values. In this case, it’s better to ask the assistance of your domain provider.
- Repeat the process to add ALL website variationsOnce you added and verified one of your website’s address you need to repeat this process until you have all variations added.If you have https installed on your website, then this means you need to add and verify all four instances:
How to link Google Analytics and Search Console?
Integrating your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics allows you to track your website’s performance in one convenient place. To set this up, you only need to:
- Log into your Google Analytics account
- On the left sidebar, go to Acquisition then choose Search Console
- Click the Set up Search Console data sharing button
- Select your Search Console account
If you’re looking to get higher keywords ranking in google then, using Google Search Console is must for you.
Google Search Console will advise you on several important SEO aspects of your website.
Meet all Google Search Console requirements and your website will stand a better chance to get ranked higher on Google search engine result page.
We hope that this article on Google Search Console FAQ will help you start smoothly with Google Search Console.
How will you improve your site with Google Search Console?
About Nitin Malik
Nitin Malik is a Full-stack Digital Marketing Consultant, Speaker, Trainer and Founder & CEO @ Digital Aladin – An Online Digital Marketng Training Platform. A digital marketer by the day and a blogger by the night, Nitin works with Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. He has led 100+ SEO and PPC seminars and webinars.More Posts by Nitin Malik