Google Search Console – Part 2

Charles Brodeur - Monday, September 28, 2015

Now that you’ve got your account setup, you’re probably quite curious as to why you had to bother with that process.  After all, isn’t Webmaster Tools a de facto tool for Webmasters?  That’s part of the main reason why Webmaster Tools is in the process of re-branding the tool as the Search Console.  There are so many different parties who can use access and insights from the tool, that it is hard to ignore the potential beyond webmasters using this tool.  The goal of this article is to share with you the nuggets of information you can find in Google’s Webmaster Tools known also as the Search Console.  The information extracted from this tool can be particularly useful with proper interpretation.

If you’re at all familiar with the inner and outer workings of a search engine like Google, then you’ll automatically understand the importance that search traffic can play to decision-making business processes as well.  Under the Search Queries report in Webmaster Tools, you can see the top queries that Googlers across the web have used to access your site organically: their number of queries, impressions, and clicks.  The same can be said of your top pages, if you were particularly curious to see exactly where people are landing on your site. 

Another important function of the Webmaster Tools Search Console is the ability to automatically add and sync XML sitemaps, so that Google’s spiders can easily navigate and catalog your website.  By improving the efficiency of their processes, you are more likely to have your content indexed and thus have it searched for as well. 

But what about your website’s performance in the context of other pages?  After all, isn’t a large part of search engine analysis about backlinks?  Indeed, and Webmaster Tools Search Console has you covered in this department.  They will enumerate all of the referral links to your pages from across the web and permit you to event download and export this data for future consumption and interpretation. 

Most of all though, Google’s Search Console permits site monitoring and fine-tuning in ways you might not expect.  For example, if you are particularly a fan of having or not having a “www” in your site’s visible URL, there are settings to change that.  If you have particular geographic segments of the Internet’s population to whom you are hoping to expose your site, there are settings to change that.  If you have a particularly volatile site that changes content quite often, you may wish to manipulate the frequency desired at which Google will crawl your site.  All of these options provide powerful opportunities for you to fine-tune and personalize your Webmaster Tools experience without the need for any sort of advanced coding or refined technical skills. 

The final important setup process when getting introduced to and familiar with the Google Search Console is the enabling of the inherent link between the capabilities of the Search Console with those of Google Analytics.  The data you’ve just spent time setting up and configuring can be used to create more powerful dimensions of insights in Google Analytics, and it is worth exploring the ease and convenience with which the two tools can operate in sync.

Ensure first that you are signed into both the Search Console and Google Analytics.  In Search Console’s main site dashboard, click on the gear icon and follow the dropdown to select Google Analytics Property.  Provided you have registered for both Google Analytics and Search Console on the same Google account and have adequate permissions granted to you on that account, it should be a quick click from there to get everything synced together.  



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