Google Search Console is a powerful tool. Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, the platform allows SEO’s & Webmasters alike the ability to check on the health of their website, along with other data that can be utilized to improve your website. A common use of Search Console is to check on your sitemap.xml and robots.txt to ensure that they are working properly. Here are a few more ways you can use Google Search Console:
Google Search Console is a great way to “interact” with Google. One way to do this (in the new search console) is to go to Status > Index Coverage > Open Report. This report gives you an overview of your webpage’s index status with Google. If there are any 404 errors or broken links, that information will appear here. While 404 errors and broken links don’t directly affect a website’s SEO, it doesn’t result in poor user experience, which goes hand-in-hand with SEO.
Want to know how often your website is appearing in Google Search Results? Of course you do. To find this information go to Status > Performance.
This will let you know how many time a webpage of yours appeared in the SERPS compared to how many times users visited your site. Even more, in this same report you can view the queries users make that cause your site to appear in the search results. This is a great way to figure out what users are searching for, and what you need to better optimize for.
Check For Penalties
Any SEO’s or webmasters worst fear is a huge drop in traffic seemingly out of no where. If this happens one of the first things you should do is run to Google Search Console. Only on the “old” version of Search Console currently, is a section called manual actions under “search traffic”. If you were to experience a large drop in organic traffic, this should where you look to see if you have encountered any penalties from Google.
Google Search Console is a wonderful tool that is going to get even better as Google perfects its new beta platform. Take some time to explore its rich features, and see what you can do to improve your site.